Chamisa admits losing control of the opposition CCC party
Nqobile Tshili, [email protected]
THE leader of the beleaguered Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), Mr Nelson Chamisa, has subtly admitted that he is slowly losing control of the opposition party which has been rocked by divisions.
Mr Chamisa also dismissed the issue of collective leadership which commentators have said has put him at a crossroads with other opposition members.
Posting on his social media platform X (formerly Twitter) page, the opposition party leader seemed to decry the divisions in the opposition.
He traced the divisions in the opposition dating back to 2005 when the late former Prime Minister during the Government of National Unity, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai led the first MDC split over the participation in senatorial elections.
The split resulted in the party’s secretary general Professor Welshman Ncube breaking away and forming his own party.
“We build . . . we are builders by God’s grace. We touch anything, it turns into gold . . . we built the MDC (and) they divided and took it away in 2005. We then built the MDC-T (and) they divided and took everything away,” posted Mr Chamisa.
He said they built the MDC-Alliance in a short space of time and “they” took it away without mentioning those who “took” it away.
“We founded and formed CCC in January 2022. Now they are at it again. This time in style with and through a ghost,” posted Mr Chamisa.
The opposition party’s interim secretary-general, Mr Sengezo Tshabangu whose legitimacy is being challenged in court, has since last month recalled 42 CCC legislators and councillors.
Last Tuesday, the High Court issued an interim relief barring Mr Tshabangu from instituting further recalls until the main matter before the court has been finalised.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda said the interim did not have an effect on the recalls of the 18 legislators.
He said the notice of recall was effective from November 7, the date on which Parliament received the letters of recall from Mr Tshabangu.
In 2020, Mr Chamisa lost the MDC-T presidency after the courts declared him an illegitimate leader of the opposition.
This was after Mr Chamisa had grabbed power following the death of Mr Tsvangirai in February 2018.
The chaos led to a split with the party’s vice-president Dr Thokozani Khupe, who claimed to be the rightful leader of the MDC-T taking over the reins.
Dr Khupe caused a recall of several party members aligned to the Chamisa’s camp. She later lost the presidency to Mr Douglas Mwonzora, who again recalled several opposition members, arguing that they had ceased to be MDC-T members.
Mr Chamisa then worked with Prof Ncube and Mr Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party under the MDC-Alliance banner.
After the courts declared Mr Chamisa an illegitimate leader, members of the MDC T under the MDC Alliance were recalled from Parliament triggering by-elections in December 2021.
Mr Chamisa and his alliance partners formed CCC in January 2022 and since then the party operated without a constitution and defined structures.
In interviews, political analysts attributed the divisions to the absence of structures within CCC, which has seen Mr Tshabangu, attributing his ascendency to power to strategic ambiguity strategy.
Mr Tshabangu has gone on an overdrive, recalling legislators and councillors under the CCC ambit, claiming they no longer belonged to the party, triggering December 9 by-elections.
Mr Chamisa’s camp has, however, insisted that it has not recalled any members and argued that Mr Tshabangu is an imposter.
Mr Tshabangu has decried the lack of democracy and collective leadership in the opposition party and accused Mr Chamisa of running the party like a personal project.
X users asked Mr Chamisa to clarify on the issue of collective leadership, which opposition leaders including Mr Biti, said was lacking.
Mr Chamisa is disputing the assertion that his party has no structures, saying the claims were baseless and malicious.
“Collective leadership is from the people and a collection of the people’s voices. Leaders are chosen. Nobody chooses themselves,” he responded.
“It’s dishonest to suggest that a whole movement that has a national footprint in every hamlet, village, and community is constituted as such without collective ownership and leadership. It’s a citizen project, not personal property.”
Mr Teddy Ncube, a political analyst, said it has become evident that Mr Chamisa is operating in an idealistic world that is practically dysfunctional.
“Let’s start here, it’s important to recognise that the opposition party, CCC was originally conceived not as a political party, but as a vehicle for regime change, aligning itself with Western interests. This foundational weakness transformed the opposition into a politically feeble organisation, more of a pressure group led by activists than seasoned politicians,” he said.
“Within this context, the mishandling of political leadership in the opposition allowed even the least qualified individuals to ascend to leadership positions. The repercussions of this approach are evident in the persistent leadership crisis plaguing the opposition over the past two decades.”
Mr Ncube said Mr Chamisa lacked leadership qualities and failed to understand the role of the opposition thus creating internal enemies. — @nqotshili