Shrouded in shadows: Lack of transparency, dictatorship undermine CCC’s election hope

22 May, 2023 - 00:05 0 Views
Shrouded in shadows: Lack of transparency, dictatorship undermine CCC’s election hope Mr Nelson Chamisa

The Chronicle

Stanford Chiwanga, [email protected]

THE upcoming elections in Zimbabwe are a critical moment for the country, with the opposition led by Nelson Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) hoping to unseat President Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF party.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the opposition is unlikely to win the elections, primarily due to their lack of organisational structure and the internal conflicts that have plagued the party.

Political parties that aspire to win an election need to have strong structures in place that can mobilise voters, campaign effectively and monitor the electoral process. Unfortunately, the lead opposition in Zimbabwe, led by Chamisa, has been plagued by internal conflicts, with the party appearing to be more focused on personal agendas than on the needs of the people they hope to represent.

 Moreover, the opposition lacks a clear and coherent message to resonate with the people. In contrast, the ruling Zanu-PF party has a well-established party structures and a clear message that resonates with many Zimbabweans. The party has been in power for over 40 years and has used its long history to cement its position as the dominant political force in the country.

 Furthermore, there is a feeling among many Zimbabweans that the opposition is not ready to govern. The opposition’s lack of experience and the internal conflicts that have plagued the party have raised concerns about their ability to govern effectively. In contrast, Zanu-PF has a long history of governing the country, which gives them an advantage in the eyes of many Zimbabweans.

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, the lack of transparency and accountability within CCC has further undermined their chances of winning the elections. Transparency and accountability are essential in winning public trust and ensuring a fair and democratic electoral process.

The opposition also faces several challenges in its so-called consensus electoral process, including allegations of rigging and intimidation of supporters of other political parties. These challenges, combined with the lack of organisational structure and the internal conflicts within the party, make it difficult for the opposition to win the election.

One of the key issues surrounding the opposition’s lack of transparency is the failure to hold proper primary elections. Primary elections are an important mechanism for selecting candidates within a party as it allows party members to participate in the candidate selection process. However, there have been numerous reports of irregularities and lack of transparency in the opposition’s consensus elections, with allegations of favouritism and manipulation of the results. Such practices erode public confidence and raise doubts about the integrity of the opposition’s internal processes.

Furthermore, the lack of transparency extends to the opposition’s overall decision-making and policy formulation. There is a perception among some Zimbabweans that CCC tends to make decisions without adequate consultation and input from party members and stakeholders. This lack of inclusivity and transparency undermines the democratic principles that the opposition claims to uphold.

Another concerning aspect is the accusation of Chamisa’s dictatorship tendencies. Some critics argue that Chamisa has exhibited authoritarian tendencies by consolidating power within the party and marginalising dissenting voices. These alleged dictatorial tendencies are seen as contradictory to the democratic principles that the opposition should embody. Such behaviour further erodes public trust and weakens the opposition’s ability to present itself as a viable alternative to the ruling party.

The challenges faced by the opposition in Zimbabwe, particularly CCC, are not unique. Opposition parties in various parts of the world have encountered similar obstacles, often leading to their electoral defeats. By examining examples from different countries, one can identify common mistakes that opposition parties make, which the CCC seems to be repeating.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)

One recurring mistake is the lack of unity and internal conflicts within opposition parties. When different factions within a party are focused on personal agendas or engage in infighting, it weakens the party’s ability to present a unified front and effectively challenge the ruling party. This has been observed in countries such as Kenya where opposition parties have struggled to maintain internal cohesion and present a united front against the ruling party.

Another common mistake is the failure to establish a clear and coherent message that resonates with the electorate. Opposition parties need to articulate a compelling vision for the country, backed by well-defined policies and solutions to address pressing issues. Failure to do so often results in a lack of voter enthusiasm and support. This has been evident in several countries, including South Africa, where opposition parties have struggled to offer a coherent alternative to the ruling party’s dominant narrative.

 Additionally, opposition parties often face challenges in organising and mobilising their supporters effectively. This includes building a robust grassroots network, establishing strong party structures, and conducting successful grassroots campaigns. Without these foundations in place, opposition parties struggle to compete against the well-established party machinery of the ruling party.

Similar difficulties have been faced by opposition parties in countries like Venezuela where they have been outmanoeuvred by the ruling party’s well-organised electoral machinery.

 The lack of experience in governance and limited track record can also be a disadvantage for opposition parties. Voters often place trust in parties that have demonstrated their ability to govern and address complex challenges effectively. 

Opposition parties need to demonstrate their preparedness and competence to govern, convincing voters that they can deliver on their promises. This has been a factor in countries like Nigeria where opposition parties have faced skepticism due to their lack of experience in government. Back home, the opposition’s failure to run urban councils effectively is a case in point.

Lastly, voters will never vote for an opposition party that subscribes to the policy of “destroy and rebuild” that the opposition in Zimbabwe thrives on. Calling for sanctions to compel peace loving Zimbabweans to rise up against the Government will always be the bane to the MDCs of this world. They can come in new garments and call themselves CCC but voters are not stupid, they know a wolf in sheep’s clothing and they will never trust it even if it comes dressed in yellow. — @plainstan 

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