Opposition politician Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has disavowed a fellow party member who claimed to be the CCC’s interim secretary-general and sent a letter to the National Assembly speaker, Jacob Mudenda, purporting to recall elected representatives from the main opposition party.
Sengezo Tshabangu’s move has been compared to Douglas Mwonzora’s takeover of the MDC Alliance, which weakened the opposition and allowed the ruling party, Zanu PF, to pass legislation restricting democratic space. The CCC has accused Tshabangu of being a Zanu PF plant and working with Forever Associate Zimbabwe (Faz) to field double candidates in recent elections.
Chamisa clarified that Tshabangu is not a member of the CCC and stated that the party has solid records of its members. He also declared that the CCC would not allow its MPs to be subjected to “nonsense” and recalled. Mudenda is yet to make a decision on the recalls, but the impartiality of Zanu PF politburo members has been questioned in the past, as some of Mwonzora’s recalls were reversed by the courts.
One of the affected legislators, Prince Dubeko Sibanda, reported the issue to the police but did not receive a case number, as they claimed they needed to consult before taking action. The CCC believes that Tshabangu is a Zanu PF proxy used to force by-elections and secure a two-thirds majority for the ruling party. The party described Tshabangu as a “petty criminal” and emphasized that only President Chamisa and the party leadership have the authority to recall members.
Tshabangu defended his actions, claiming that he was targeting “criminals” around Chamisa and attempting to correct internal differences within the party. However, political analyst Maxwell Saungweme warned the CCC against downplaying Tshabangu’s move, stating that it exposes the party to manipulation and hijack by opportunistic external political structures.
The attempt to recall CCC representatives is based on section 129(1)(k) of the constitution, which allows political parties to recall legislators and councillors by submitting a letter to the speaker of Parliament. Piers Pigou, head of the Southern Africa programme at the Institute for Security Studies, criticized the CCC’s handling of the situation and argued that it reflects individual interests rather than the interests of the electorate.
Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa distanced the ruling party from the CCC’s internal conflicts and stated that Zanu PF is focused on governing and growing the economy. According to Mutsvangwa, there is no threat from the defeated CCC, and no further elections are scheduled.