Nelson Chamisa’s desperate move: Gift ‘Ostallos’ Siziba drops bombshell


Nelson Chamisa considers rebranding party amid political turmoil

In a period of mounting challenges for the opposition movement, Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), is reportedly contemplating adopting a new party name. This move comes amidst growing indications that his hold on the opposition movement is weakening.

The CCC was thrown into disarray when Sengezo Tshabangu claimed to be the interim secretary-general of the party and initiated the recall of its Members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors. However, Tshabangu’s attempts to recall more CCC councillors and MPs were halted by a High Court ruling, pending the resolution of legal disputes surrounding the ownership of the opposition movement.

By-elections have been scheduled for February 3 to fill some of the vacant seats resulting from the recalls. In the previous round of by-elections triggered by the recalls, Zanu PF emerged victorious, securing seven out of the nine contested seats.

The genesis of the current situation can be traced back to January 2022 when Douglas Mwonzora, once Chamisa’s ally turned opponent, wrested control of the MDC Alliance from him. The MDC Alliance was a coalition of several political parties in Zimbabwe, with Chamisa as its presidential candidate in the disputed 2018 elections. In the aftermath, Mwonzora claimed the MDC name and symbols, leaving Chamisa without a party.

As the battle for control of the CCC ensues, Gift “Ostallos” Siziba, interim deputy spokesperson, hinted that Chamisa may emerge as the leader of the Democratic Alternative in Zimbabwe (DAZ). While Siziba reaffirmed Chamisa’s leadership, he remained ambiguous about the potential abandonment of the CCC name. Siziba clarified that the mention of Chamisa as the DAZ leader in a circulated picture was intended to emphasize his role as the face of the alternative movement in Zimbabwe.

When approached for comment, Promise Mkwananzi, CCC interim spokesperson, offered limited insight, stating that the CCC led by Chamisa represents Zimbabwe’s Democratic Alternative.

Inside sources reveal that Chamisa is under pressure to adopt a new name or negotiate with Tshabangu. It is believed that his allies within the CCC are urging him to embrace the 2019 MDC structures. However, adopting the 2019 structures would potentially entail accommodating Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube as his deputies, a prospect that Chamisa reportedly finds concerning. The CCC structures were disbanded by Chamisa in January 2022, with loyalists justifying the decision as a precaution against infiltration by Zanu PF and state security agents.

Walter Mzembi, a former minister now in exile, cautioned that Chamisa could encounter similar challenges if he fails to regularize the party’s structures after adopting a new name. Mzembi emphasized the importance of addressing fundamental issues rather than relying solely on rebranding efforts.

As the political landscape in Zimbabwe continues to evolve, the decision regarding a new party name could have significant implications for Chamisa’s future and the opposition movement as a whole.

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