Tshabangu’s CCC faction in disarray as candidate backs Chamisa, withdraws from by-elections

Sengezo Tshabangu

Blessing Choeni, the nominated candidate for Sengezo Tshabangu’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) faction in Beitbridge West, has withdrawn from the upcoming by-elections scheduled for December 9.

The by-elections were called after CCC legislators and councillors were recalled by Tshabangu, who claims to be the interim secretary-general of the CCC party. Choeni’s decision not to contest the election leaves Morgan Ncube of the CCC, led by Nelson Chamisa, and Thusani Ndou of the ruling Zanu PF party as the main contenders.

Choeni stated that he resigned in order to avoid splitting the votes for the CCC party, expressing his allegiance to Chamisa and his unwillingness to compete against a candidate endorsed by the party president. He wasted no time in accusing Tshabangu of having ties to Zanu PF.

“I resigned because I don’t want to split the votes for our CCC party. I am a follower of Chamisa and will not contest against a candidate approved by the party president,” Choeni said.

However, Choeni was unable to explain why he accepted Tshabangu’s request to register and appear before the nomination court in Gwanda in the first place. Choeni has a history of switching political affiliations, having moved from Zanu PF to the Freezim Congress of Zimbabwe and then attempting to return to Zanu PF.

Chamisa, meanwhile, addressed concerns about the upcoming by-elections and escalating political violence. Speaking at the funeral wake of slain party activist Tapfumaneyi Masaya in Mabvuku, Chamisa expressed the party’s intention to find ways to prevent the by-elections from taking place. Masaya had been abducted and killed while campaigning for CCC candidate Febion Kufahakutizwi.

Chamisa decried the rising political violence, which has resulted in fatalities ahead of the December 9 by-elections. He criticized the allocation of significant funds for the by-elections while essential services like hospitals, medicines, and schools lack adequate resources. Chamisa attributed the recalls of CCC members to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of being behind the actions.

The opposition leader denounced the recalls as criminal and fraudulent, vowing to fight against them through various means, including legal, political, and diplomatic channels. Chamisa emphasized the need to exhaust all avenues in order to prevent the by-elections from taking place, stating that the recalls were unnecessary.

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