By-elections from CCC chaos cost nation millions Dr Jenfan Muswere

Chronicle Writer

LACK of structures coupled with internal fights at the beleaguered Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) is costing the country millions of dollars as the Government is forced to dip into its coffers and divert funds towards financing by-elections. 

The Government recently approved a US$5 million budget for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to conduct the December 9 by-elections to fill nine vacant seats in the National Assembly that were prompted by the expulsion of the opposition legislators last month

The by-elections were necessitated by recalls from the party by CCC interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu. 

CCC president, Mr Nelson Chamisa’s political ally, Mr Hopewell Chin’ono, said the party has been torn apart by the dictatorial tendencies of its leader.

Posting on his X page, Mr Chin’ono lambasted Mr Chamisa for his dictatorial tendencies saying as the president of the opposition party, he can’t do everything. 

“He (Mr Chamisa) is the president of a political party, he can’t do everything! Nelson Chamisa is a decent guy, but without a leadership structure that can help him execute, nothing meaningful can be done,” posted Mr Chin’ono. 

“Running around shouting ‘Ngaapinde Hake Mukomana’ when you are not asking leaders to be responsible creates a dysfunctional society where leaders are hero-worshipped and not asked to account for anything.”

In interviews yesterday, political analysts said CCC’s lack of structures and constitution under the guise of “strategic ambiguity” is putting a strain on the Treasury.

They said CCC’s laid-back and poor approach to politics in an apparent bid to keep its cards close to the chest, is now not only costing the party but the nation at large.

Dr Hamadziripi Dube, a political analyst, said the party had lost its mandate and strayed from its supporters, owing to greed and struggle for power.

He said CCC is not constituted and that is why it is crumbling and susceptible to splitting. 

“Recalls being made don’t ameliorate the problems in this political outfit. Its supporters and officials will soon lose their temper and split or lead to violence within its formation,” he said.

“The future of this party and its base will be totally different from what it was before the August 23 elections. CCC has taken a valueless route which will even cost the party results in the by-election.”

Dr Dube said the veld fire recalls are costing the party’s reputation within and outside the country.

“These recalls and internal fights are also costing Government. Their power struggles caused by the lack of structures are affecting the day-to-day running of the Government,” he said.

“The citizen is not benefiting anything from the election repetition as it is not going to change or give an alternative governance. It’s diverting Government funds and keeping Zimbabweans in the election mood.

Dr Dube said CCC is hypocritical as evidenced by the party’s disorganisation.

“Mr Nelson Chamisa’s mismanagement of this CCC political party has led to wasted and diverted use of Government funds. They are sucking Government funds indirectly and failing to abide by their so-called democracy,” he said.

“This political party needs to have a constitution and a structure to avoid these unnecessary squabbles which will then cost the taxpayer,” he said. 

Another political analyst, Mr Richard Mahomva said the CCC recalls emanating from the factional degeneration of the opposition and its disorganisation crisis serve as an assault on democratic tenets.

“Moreover, the blame transfer for the internal fights in the opposition to Zanu-PF is reputation damaging to the ruling party. It is noted with concern that Zanu-PF is the biggest victim of these recalls as it is forced to engage in financially straining campaigns to win the seats made vacant due to this unrestrained menace,” he said.

Mr Mahomva said this victimisation also extends to other political parties in Zimbabwe. 

“Parliament business is also being sabotaged, subsequently creating a constitutional void which should have been avoided had the opposition respected the integrity of the arms of the state,” he said.

“To prevent this, a law must be instituted to regulate all parties to have structures and leaders. It is a disservice to our democracy to have political players whose participation in our national process cannot be institutionally accounted for.”

Another analyst Mr Methuseli Moyo said the CCC arrangement is a cocktail for disaster that should not be condoned by Zimbabweans.

“The CCC arrangement is a cocktail for disaster. They brewed all the chaos that we now have by not having structures, conventions, and a constitution,” he said.

“Surprisingly, they now want to blame everybody except themselves for their brew. Parties need to be serious and take elections and the electorate seriously.”

Mr Moyo said elections are costly but unavoidable due to the vacancies that have arisen.

“The electorate gets fatigued by these by-elections. The sooner the CCC puts its house in order the better for everybody,” he said. 

Recently, Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said the fissures in CCC were detrimental to Zimbabwe’s democracy.

“The factional degeneration of the opposition and its disorganisation crisis renders volatility to our national democracy. The structureless feature of the CCC has seen the recalling of Members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors,” he said. 

Dr Muswere said the CCC veld fire recalls have constitutionally compelled ZEC to call for by-elections to fill vacant seats.

The recalls were effected hardly less than three months after the harmonised elections.

The minister said the US$5,3 million which will be spent by ZEC on the by-elections was an unplanned cost to taxpayers, something which could have been avoided.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said to address some of the pitfalls that the opposition has brought, the country should start a conversation on regulating political parties.

Political parties are not regulated in the country and they just need to notify the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of their intention to contest. 

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