CCC infighting takes an ugly turn: Disaster for the opposition in December by-elections?

Self-imposed CCC Secretary-General Sengezo Tshabangu

Tensions Rise Within Zimbabwe Opposition Party Ahead of By-Elections

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in Zimbabwe is facing serious internal divisions ahead of December by-elections.

Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the party’s interim secretary-general but is disputed by leader Nelson Chamisa, has threatened legal action after CCC filed nomination papers for its candidates.

Tshabangu argued that by nominating candidates, CCC went against a recent court ruling which upheld his recall of 14 opposition MPs and councillors. His spokesperson said they were “shocked” to see CCC on the ballot and would challenge any “double candidates.”

However, constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku said the court ruling simply dismissed the case without any declarations. He explained that Zimbabwean law allows multiple factions of the same party to contest elections.

CCC spokesperson Gift Siziba said the nominations show “what the people wanted”, despite Tshabangu’s attempts to split the party. If he proceeds with legal action, it risks further embarrassing him, according to Madhuku.

“There is no basis for Tshabangu to challenge the other CCC for nominating its candidates. If Tshabangu does so, he risks humiliating himself and losing his gains.

“The court can bar him from stopping the other CCC candidate from contesting and it will be an embarrassment. Our laws allow, in this case, more than one CCC party to contest.

“Even a third one can also field its candidates and contest. This is exactly what Zanu PF wanted. They have no claim of anything in these elections, but they have managed to split the CCC.”

For now, candidates from CCC, ZANU-PF, and Tshabangu’s breakaway group will face off in the by-elections. In Bulawayo and Harare constituencies, CCC MPs are defending their seats against recalls.

According to the papers filed at the nomination courts, CCC’s Obert Manduna will face off against Albert Mavhunga of Zanu PF and Ambrose Sibindi from Tshabangu’s faction in Nketa constituency in Bulawayo.

In Bulawayo South, Nicola Jane Watson (CCC), Raji Modi of Zanu PF and Tshabangu’s James Sithole will also be contesting for the seat.

Zanu PF’s Arthur Mujeyi will face off against Pashor Raphael Sibanda of CCC and Tshabangu’s Vusumuzi Chirwa for the Cowdray Park constituency.

In Lobengula-Magwegwe, Menziwa Dube (Zanu PF) will be contesting Eric Gono of CCC and Tshabangu’s Tendai Nyathi.

In Beitbridge West constituency, Morgan Ncube of CCC will square off with Thusani Ndou of Zanu PF, who is Vice-President Kembo Mohadi’s son-in-law.

The infighting comes at a crucial time for the opposition party as it aims to maintain momentum against the ruling ZANU-PF. An appeal of the court decision is also pending at the Supreme Court.

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