CCC Leader Urges President Mnangagwa to Cancel By-elections Amidst Rising Violence
In the wake of the recent abduction and murder of a member of the Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the CCC, has made a public plea to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to cancel the upcoming by-elections scheduled for December 9.
Chamisa expressed concerns about the safety of CCC members amidst escalating tensions and violent attacks in the lead-up to the by-elections.
CCC member, Bishop Tapfumaneyi Masaya, was found dead on Monday, having been abducted two days earlier while campaigning for Munyaradzi Febion Kufahakutizwi, the CCC’s parliamentary candidate, in Mabvuku, Harare. This tragic incident follows a series of abductions and torture of CCC activists, including legislator Takudzwa Ngadziore and former parliamentarian James Chidhakwa, among others.
The by-elections were triggered by the recall of CCC Members of Parliament (MPs), councillors, and senators by Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-proclaimed interim party secretary-general. Chamisa criticized President Mnangagwa for his silence on the attacks and called for an end to the abuse and manipulation of state institutions. He emphasized the need for dialogue and collaboration between the two leaders to address pressing political and socio-economic challenges facing the nation.
Chamisa argued that the by-elections were a distraction from the more urgent issues affecting Zimbabwe, including a mass exodus of citizens seeking better opportunities abroad. He pointed out that Zimbabwe’s native languages, Shona and Ndebele, have become internationally recognized due to the significant number of Zimbabweans living in foreign nations. Chamisa questioned the allocation of US$5 million for conducting what he labelled as illegal by-elections.
Christopher Mutsvangwa, the Zanu PF spokesperson, distanced the ruling party from the by-elections, stating that it was a matter of law and beyond their control. Mutsvangwa emphasized that the CCC’s issues with Tshabangu were being settled in court and involving Zanu PF in the matter would be inappropriate.
Tshabangu, who has been accused of being a Zanu PF proxy, remains at the center of the internal disputes within the CCC. Masaya’s death further heightened tensions within the party, prompting his family to demand an independent postmortem. The police are currently investigating the case.
The United States embassy in Zimbabwe and the European Union (EU) have called on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into Masaya’s death and other abductions of opposition members. Both entities emphasized the importance of identifying and bringing the culprits to justice. The United States embassy also urged peaceful preparations for the December by-elections and an end to political violence.
As the situation unfolds, the CCC and its leader, Nelson Chamisa, remain resolute in their call to President Mnangagwa to prioritize the safety of CCC members and address the pressing challenges facing the nation. The fate of the upcoming by-elections hangs in the balance as concerns over escalating violence continue to mount.