Tensions rise in CCC: Chamisa takes charge as recalls cause turmoil in main opposition party


Chitungwiza is bracing for a major rally today as Nelson Chamisa, leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), emerges from the shadows to address the escalating crisis within the party.

The mass recall of CCC legislators and councillors by self-imposed secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu has sparked internal divisions and prompted Chamisa to publicly state his position on the matter.

Tshabangu, working in collaboration with former MDC Alliance MPs and activists primarily from Bulawayo, has been targeting CCC members, claiming they are no longer part of the party. Notably, Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube, long-time allies of Chamisa, have become the primary focus of CCC activists, particularly online. Despite their repeated disassociation from Tshabangu, the trolls continue to hound them, straining their relations with Chamisa.

Under mounting pressure, Chamisa is set to address a rally at Chibuku Stadium, where he is expected to defend the sidelining of opposition stalwarts and assert that CCC did not inherit the leadership structures of the MDC Alliance. The CCC, formed by Chamisa last year after losing control of the MDC Alliance to Douglas Mwonzora, has yet to hold an elective congress, resulting in internal tensions now spilling into the open.

Disgruntled CCC members, some of whom are close to Chamisa, have voiced their concerns about being marginalized and reduced to mere spectators within the party. They accuse Chamisa of relying on a “kitchen cabinet” for day-to-day decision-making, comprising trusted advisers and friends. Tensions have further escalated, with Biti accusing Chamisa of creating fake social media accounts to attack him.

Insiders reveal that Chamisa’s trusted lieutenants include organizing secretary Amos Chibaya and deputy spokesperson Gift Ostallos Siziba. However, critics argue that Chamisa has consolidated power, assuming multiple roles within the party and disregarding established structures. When Chamisa launched the CCC, all posts were abolished, further exacerbating divisions among party members.

Tshabangu’s recalls have specifically targeted elected representatives believed to be loyal to Chamisa, leading to widespread speculation about the involvement of senior officials. Last week, Ncube, the former vice president of the party, faced questioning from supporters over his silence on the recalls, with some accusing him of colluding with Tshabangu. Ncube’s response, indicating he lacked an official platform to criticize Tshabangu, exposed the growing sense of marginalization among senior officials.

CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi dismissed allegations of disloyalty towards Chamisa, emphasizing the need for a team that shares the president’s vision for a better Zimbabwe. Mkwananzi expressed the desire for a dynamic team that reflects the diverse composition of society rather than individuals solely driven by personal political ambitions.

A prominent CCC member close to Chamisa underscored the party’s independence, rejecting attempts to import structures and culture from the MDC or People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The CCC, as a new entity, has its own leader and structures, separate from any previous affiliations.

Biti, who previously led the PDP after breaking away from the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T, returned to the MDC Alliance alongside Ncube and others before the 2018 elections. They played pivotal roles in supporting Chamisa during the leadership contest following Tsvangirai’s passing.

In response to the growing criticism, Chamisa took to social media on Friday to denounce the spread of falsehoods aimed at discrediting and maligning him.

As today’s rally approaches, Mkwananzi clarified that it serves as an end-of-year interface with citizens, providing direction for the future of the party.

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