There is political tension brewing in Zimbabwe ahead of the President’s State of the Nation address. According to sources within the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change party (CCC), their legislators plan to boycott the event.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is scheduled to officially open the new parliamentary session and deliver his annual speech today. However, CCC members passed a resolution not to attend, citing Mnangagwa’s disputed victory in the 2022 elections. One source told the paper “attending would mean accepting Mnangagwa’s legitimacy, so we have agreed not to.”
When asked for comment, CCC spokesperson Gift Siziba did not directly confirm or deny the boycott plans. However, he reiterated their position that their leader Nelson Chamisa is the rightful president-elect. The elections results, which declared Mnangagwa the winner, were deemed illegitimate by the opposition party. They were also declared unfree and unfair by SADC, AU and Commesa, EU and Carter Centre.
Siziba proposed the only way to resolve this political crisis is through negotiations leading to “a credible and normal election.” For now, tensions remain high, as the CCC refuses to recognize Mnangagwa’s authority. Their absence from his big annual speech today would certainly escalate tensions further in this unsettled post-election period for Zimbabwe.