Political turmoil: Biti accuses Chamisa’s activists of creating parody accounts
Tension within the opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has escalated as its vice-president, Tendai Biti, accuses activists linked to party president Nelson Chamisa of orchestrating parody social media accounts to smear his name.
Biti alleges that these accounts were used to falsely connect him to self-imposed interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu. The allegations of internal division and the presence of alleged “sell-outs” have cast a shadow over the party’s unity.
Biti spoke exclusively to NewsDay, expressing his disinterest and denying any association with Tshabangu. He firmly believes that the parody account was created by Chamisa and his team, emphasizing the need to verify its authenticity.
“I’m not interested. That account must be parody account that was created by Chamisa and his team. Just check it. I have not met Tshabangu and let me repeat that I am not interested,” Biti fumed.
The fabricated post on social media claimed that Biti and Tshabangu had a meeting at a prominent hotel in Harare, discussing crucial party matters. However, Tshabangu’s spokesperson, Khaliphani Phugeni, disavowed the account, labelling it as fake.
In another incident, former mayor Jacob Mafume was reportedly barred from attending a council meeting by Harare councillor Denford Ngadziore. This occurred prior to the election of Lovejoy Chitengu as mayor, following Tshabangu’s recall of Ian Makone and the subsequent recalls affecting numerous MPs, Senators, and councillors throughout Zimbabwe.
It is understood that Mafume is fearing for his life after he was threatened with unspecified action. Mafume told NewsDay yesterday that he never wronged anyone, saying what happened at caucus meetings will remain regrettable.
“We are ready for service delivery of the residents and council if asked to do so. So, my conscience is clear even during the period when I was mayor,” Mafume said.
“I wronged no one except those who want to take Harare. What happened at caucus meeting stays at the caucus meeting.”
Reports suggest that Eric Murai, the CCC provincial taskforce chairperson for Harare, along with official Matsunga Machuma, forcefully entered the chambers to ensure that councillors voted according to Chamisa’s directives. Murai and Machuma allegedly scrutinized the ballots before allowing the councillors to cast their votes. Ngadziore refrained from commenting on the incident, considering it an internal matter.
Chitengu, the newly elected mayor, declined to provide a comment on the unfolding events. However, there are concerns that Mafume, who remains popular within the council, may make a comeback due to his respected standing.
CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi denounced Tshabangu as an impostor aligned with the ruling party, ZANU-PF. Mkwananzi emphasized the folly of associating with someone like Tshabangu, questioning the democratic principles of those who support him. On the other hand, Tshabangu distanced himself from allegations of ZANU-PF involvement, attributing the internal issues within CCC to manipulation during candidate selection and a disregard for party values.
Tensions continue to rise within the CCC, with the party grappling with internal conflicts and accusations of impropriety. As the political landscape remains uncertain, the party’s members and the public await further developments, hoping for a resolution that upholds democratic principles and restores the CCC to its foundational values.