Plot Thickens: Nelson Chamisa faces internal revolt as Tshabangu shakes CCC party’s foundation

Former CCC leader Nelson Chamisa

After months of firefighting following a daring move by a previously little known activist to rock the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), the party’s leader Nelson Chamisa is now fending off spirited attempts by some opposition stalwarts to challenge his leadership.

The year-old CCC, which morphed from the MDC Alliance after a Douglas Mwonzoraled revolt, was thrown into turmoil soon after the August 23 and 24 elections after Sengenzo Tshabangu claimed he was the party’s interim secretary general and started recalling newly elected legislators and councillors.

Tshabangu’s rampage was temporarily halted by the courts, but he has vowed to continue with his demolition mission. Only a few CCC members have publicly associated with his campaign.

This publication has it on good authority that the fight for the control of the party is about to take a new dimension with some senior CCC officials plotting to go to court to force Chamisa to revert to MDC Alliance structures.

The senior party members feel that they are being side-lined by the CCC presidential candidate in the August elections.

One of their major arguments is that CCC was not a new party as it rebranded from the MDC Alliance and it must run using structures that emerged at its fifth congress held at Gweru’s Ascot Stadium in May 2019.

Some of the plotters are said to have attempted to influence former CCC legislator Job Sikhala to sign an affidavit stating that he chaired the MDC Alliance’s committee meeting that resolved to rebrand into CCC, which they will use to launch their court action.

A senior CCC member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed the likes of Charlton Hwende, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, Lynette Kore and Maureen Kademaunga supported the idea of reverting to the 2019 structures.

The officials said part of the plot included negotiating with Tshabangu to drop his claim to be the CCC interim secretary general to pave the way for the return of the old structures.

“He has been promised a fortune, hence we are unlikely to see more recalls of the CCC legislators or councillors,” the official said.

“This was agreed during a meeting that was held at (name of hotel supplied) by the aggrieved members.

“They sent Tshabangu’s lawyer (Lewis) Uriri who went late into the night to Chikurubi to have Sikhala sign an affidavit in support of Tshabangu’s claims that CCC is a rebrand of MDC Alliance.”

Uriri dismissed the claims and said he only met Sikhala on a “friendly” basis during one of his court appearances. The firebrand politician has been in detention since 2022 facing a litany of charges.

“I met Sikhala at the Harare magistrates’ courts and I spoke to him in the presence of his lawyer and the court was fully packed,”Uriri told The Standard.

“We did not discuss anything of that sort.

“I have also not been instructed by Tshabangu because I am an advocate. I get instructions from his lawyers.

“So I haven’t received any instruction to the effect that we need to have an affidavit signed.”

When contacted for comment, Tshabangu boasted that he was now in charge of CCC.

“We are in charge now. The people who are the owners of the party are now in charge of the movement now,” he said.

“So now (Chamisa) can sleep soundly because the criminals are no longer with the institution.

“This is what is important. Whether there are recalls or not I can’t tell.

“But people may cross floors, so if people decide to disassociate we will take the appropriate actions.”

Tshabangu said “work was in progress” to bring back Biti and Ncube as active members of the party.

For his part Hwende said he was never involved in meetings to plot against Chamisa.

“Why would we hold a meeting at that hotel? It is a cheap hotel,” he said.

“On issues of dialogue between president Chamisa, Welshman Ncube and Biti the party’s spokespersons are better placed to respond to that.

“But what I know is that the two are still members of the party although they have no positions, just like everyone else except the president.”

Hwende also dismissed assertions that his relationship with Chamisa had become frosty.

“Those are utter lies. My relationship with president Chamisa dates back to ages. “We have a personal relationship other than a political one,” he said.

Kore said she was on holiday “focusing on my family affairs”.

Kademaunga said: “In short, I can say I have no comment on all those allegations. “I am too junior for that.”

Promise Mkwananzi, the CCC spokesperson, said their party was different from MDC Alliance.

“CCC is a new party not a rebrand of the MDC,” Mkawananzi said.

“Champions who have issues with the party are free to present them at the appropriate party platforms such as the citizens national assembly and many others including directly with the president.

“Taking the party to court is not the DNA of leaders in the democratic movement.”

Chamisa has previously accused Zanu PF of engineering chaos in his party in order to create a one-party state in Zimbabwe.

Zanu PF party spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa on Friday said the ruling party had nothing to do with the recalls of CCC’s elected representatives.

“To the CCC I say stop expelling each other,” Mutsvangwa said.

“Try to find each other such that even if you say it’s Zanu PF fuelling your divisions, the strength of your capacity as a party is to be able to withstand any pressures from anywhere because it’s a game of contestation of power.

“I do not know why Zanu Pf is expected to be gratuitous to the CCC when we are contesting.

“Have you ever seen Welshman together with Mwonzora, Hwende or Chamisa — trying to come together and try to close their ranks? No they don’t.” NewsDay.

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