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Chamisa, Tshabangu emissaries in crunch 'interparty' talks

by Jonathan Moyo
30 Nov 2023 at 20:37hrs | Views
There have been at least two formal meetings between Nelson Chamisa and Sengezo Tshabangu "parties", on 15 November 2023 and 16 November 2023, both in Bulawayo.

The meeting on 15 November was attended by Hon. Kucaca Phulu and Alderman Collect Ndlovu from SengezoTshabangu's team, identified in the minutes as "The First Party"; while Nelson Chamisa's team had Hon Prince Dubeko Sibanda and Tinashe Runganga, a legal practitioner, who are described in the minutes as "The Second Party".

Regarding the crucial question of their respective mandates, "The First Party" said that its mandate was from its Interim Secretary General, Sengezo Tshabangu and the team that he leads; whereas "The Second Party" indicated that its mandate was from "the Leadership of the CCC and the Caucus of Parliament", and that in any case its mandate was "drawn broadly from the Party".

The minutes of 15 November indicate that the source of conflict was the candidate selection processes which were said to have involved various "offenses", among them factionalism, tribalism, nepotism, corruption and bribery; with claims that party members across the country generally feel they were used after CCC indicated that those who had actively recruited voters under the Mugwazo (targeted) campaign would be given safe passage to be the party's general election candidates, only for the opposite to happen. It is said that, when they returned from Mugwazo and after they used their personal resources, they found new, and often unknown "candidates" in their wards or constituencies who had been imposed on the communities as the CCC candidates for the 2023 harmonised general election.

To make a bad situation worse, it was said that there were widespread instances of the imposition of mayors and council office bearers across the country, and that these actually triggered the current turmoil in CCC, whose major symptom are the recalls of MPs and Councillors.

But, and crucially, while the above is given in the minutes as the mediate cause of the rupture in CCC, the minutes are also clear that the main genesis of the differences and mayhem that have led to the apparent split of CCC into two parties, to a point where now there is "Party One" and "Party Two" as captured in the minutes –  was engendered by Nelson Chamisa's unilateral dissolution of party structures that founded CCC on 22 January 2022 and the wanton disregard of CCC's founding interim constitution; after the 23/24 August 2023 harmonised general election.

The second formal meeting was on 16 November. This was attended by Hon. Kucaca Phulu and Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo from Sengezo Tshabangu's team, "The First Party"; while Nelson Chamisa's team had Hon Prince Dubeko Sibanda and Tinashe Runganga, "The Second Party".

Notably, at this meeting, Hon Sibanda tendered apologies for Hon Amos Chibaya and Hon Gift Ostallos Siziva who he said could no longer be in attendance in the meeting as previously confirmed, because Hon Chibaya had been assigned some urgent tasks in Harare; while Hon Siziva had contracted a flu infection.

In the meeting, "The First Party" made it clear that the major issue for it was that CCC should return to the structures of the party as they were immediately after the 2019 Gweru Congress, and that other issues could then be negotiated from that starting premise. As far as "The First Party" – the Tshabangu team – was concerned, it was important and paramount for CCC to return to constitutionalism as at 2019, which was the situation that obtained when CCC was founded on 22 January 2022.

On the other hand, "The Second Party" – the Chamisa team – was adamant that the position of "The First Party" would not be acceptable because everyone "was now in 2023", and that therefore the situation [of a new recently unveiled post-general election 2023 constitution] should prevail in 2023. While insisting on this posture, "The Second Party" intimated that "maybe there could be a mixture of 2023 and 2019" structures; but still maintained that "a return to 2019 was inconceivable for the Second Party".

In the result, there was a stalemate which the two parties resolved to refer back to their principals.

Interestingly, two days later on 18 November 2023 – and this is also documented – Hon Agency Gumbo met with Tshabangu's team at Zonkizizwe Complex, in Bulawayo, and reported that he had been sent with a mandate from Chamisa to make contact to ascertain what the key sticky issues really were, and to request the postponement of the interdict case that is before Justice Tawanda Chitapi, in the Harare High Court, to allow the politicians in both parties to resolve the contentious issues that have engulfed CCC. Gumbo also indicated that Chamisa was particularly troubled by the recall of his key aides, Amos Chibaya and Gift Ostallos Siziva, and that he was very keen to have their recall reversed!

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