The lack of a party constitution and established structures within the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in Zimbabwe is causing significant financial strain on the country.
The party’s approach of “strategic ambiguity” has led to a cost of US$5.3 million from the national budget to conduct by-elections on December 9. These by-elections were triggered by the recalls of members by the party’s self imposed interim secretary general, Sengezo Tshabangu.
The opposition party has employed strategic ambiguity as a political tactic, ostensibly to keep their plans secret. However, this approach is not only detrimental to the CCC but also to the nation as a whole. The party has been deeply divided due to the authoritarian tendencies of its leader, Nelson Chamisa.
Dr. Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, expressed concern about the impact of the CCC’s internal conflicts on Zimbabwe’s democracy. The party’s lack of structures has resulted in the recall of Members of Parliament and councillors, leading to the need for by-elections. These recalls occurred within a short period of time after the previous elections, and the unplanned cost of the upcoming by-elections is burdening taxpayers unnecessarily.
Dr. Muswere emphasized the importance of introducing legislation to govern the formation of political parties and establish prerequisites for their operation. He called for a strong legislative framework to address the crisis facing Zimbabwe’s democracy and prevent the recurrence of similar situations in the future.
The Vice Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Ambassador Rodney Kiwa, acknowledged that the by-elections would strain the national budget, amounting to a cost of US$5.3 million. Although the commission is apolitical, it is obliged to conduct the by-elections upon notification of vacancies by the Speaker of Parliament.
Political analysts also criticized the CCC for its disorganization and the resulting waste of government funds. They argued that the party’s mismanagement and lack of a constitution and structures led to the unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer money. The opposition was accused of prioritizing its own interests over the country’s development.