The leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Nelson Chamisa, has revealed that Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu PF, has expressed interest in engaging in dialogue with the opposition to address the post-election deadlock in the country. Chamisa stated that Zanu PF reached out to him after the opposition party announced its disengagement from parliament and local authorities in protest against the recall of its legislators.
The CCC encountered a crisis when Sengezo Tshabangu, a former MDC official, shockingly orchestrated the mass recall of the party’s MPs and senators. Tshabangu claimed to be the interim secretary-general and wrote letters to the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, to enforce the recalls.
Zanu PF’s spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, had previously stated that Chamisa had sent emissaries seeking talks with the ruling party. However, Chamisa contradicted this, asserting that it was Zanu PF that initiated contact.
Chamisa emphasized the need for dialogue to move the country forward in the aftermath of the disputed August 23 and 24 elections. He contested President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory, describing it as a massive fraud. Chamisa called for a mechanism that would address national challenges, the legitimacy dispute, and the flaws in the electoral process. He proposed establishing a caretaker government through agreed-upon timeframes.
Mnangagwa had previously dismissed the possibility of an inclusive government, citing Zanu PF’s comfortable majority in Parliament. In contrast, Chamisa advocated for fresh elections, citing concerns raised by observer missions from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union regarding election irregularities.
In 2009, following the disputed 2008 elections, the late President Robert Mugabe was compelled to form a unity government with opposition MDC formations. Mugabe had won the discredited run-off election in a one-man show after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew in protest against violence perpetrated by Zanu PF and state security agents. The unity government, which lasted from 2009 to 2013, brought relative peace and economic stability to Zimbabwe.
Chamisa expressed his opposition to replicating the unity government, emphasizing the need for a transitional authority to address the country’s political challenges. He stressed the importance of buy-in from all stakeholders, including Zanu PF and the CCC, to tackle the legitimacy crisis and other issues affecting Zimbabwe.
Chamisa criticized the recalls of CCC MPs and councillors as regressive, stating that both the CCC’s supporters and even some within Zanu PF have not celebrated these actions. He highlighted constitutional issues surrounding elections, legislation, and citizens’ security.
Zanu PF denied any involvement in the recalls, attributing them to internal conflicts within the CCC. When asked by The Standard to comment on Chamisa’s claims, the deputy director for information in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Anyway Mutambudzi, declined, suggesting contacting the president directly.
“I am not CCC spokesperson… You can contact the president himself,” Mutambudzi said yesterday. “I don’t know about those issues.”