Leave politics and open a church: Sengezo Tshabangu mocks Nelson Chamisa

Self-imposed CCC Secretary-General Sengezo Tshabangu

CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary-general Mr Sengezo Tshabangu (pictured) has thrown a salvo at ex- party leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, saying he hoped he would deploy his preaching gifts in spreading the word of God as he has failed in politics.

Mr Chamisa threw in the towel and dumped the disjointed opposition political outfit last week, leaving his supporters and elected Members of Parliament (MPs) in limbo. In an interview with a local journalist, Mr Tshabangu said the party was disappointed by Mr Chamisa’s exit without giving them a signal.

“We are not angry, but we are disappointed that the leader decided to walk away without giving an indication and signal that he was going to walk away. We wish him well and know that he is gifted in preaching and we hope he is going to open a church because politics and church are two different things. We hope that he is going to endeavour his gift in preaching the gospel of God,” said Mr Tshabangu.

He said they were going to make sure that the party was intact and rejuvenated as they were going back to the basics and reconfiguring it.

“We are formalising the party and we are going to be headed for a congress and this in a way will create a sense of ownership within the membership of the party.

“The leadership has set down and will continue sitting down, consulting and engaging and make appropriate decisions. So we expect to announce the recommended leader on an interim basis before we go to congress. We have capable men and women, tried and tested who can really lead,” said Mr Tshabangu.

He said they were hearing from the media that some party representatives in the National Assembly and local authorities were resigning from their positions but said this did not mean anything as they have not legally done so. He urged those that were walking away with Mr Chamisa to tender their resignation formally with the relevant institutions, adding that they were not going to stand in anyone’s way. As far as the assets of the party were concerned, Mr Tshabangu said they hoped to reach an amicable solution with Mr Chamisa and if that fails they were going to seek legal counsel, reiterating that every asset that was acquired by the party should remain with the party. The resignation of Mr Chamisa was announced through a letter, with him apportioning the blame on Zanu-PF.

However, in an interview with our Harare Bureau yesterday, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, said the recent implosion of the CCC was a result of power struggles by rival factions within the organisation and should not be blamed on Zanu-PF.

“He wants to allege that he is leaving his party because of Zanu-PF which is not allowing him to run his party. That assertion is akin to a man who abandons his family because the family next door is allegedly making it impossible for him to run his own house. It shows that we are dealing with a person who is incapable of leading in times of adversity. If you are a leader, you cannot abandon your flock; you make sure you rally behind them and you lead from the front, and not the back. But we are dealing with somebody who blames everyone except for himself; in fact, he believes that he is the only one who is OK. Everyone else is at fault except him.”

Mr Chamisa’s statement, he said, “blames all his problems on Zanu-PF”.

“We are just beneficiaries of their foolishness and not the source of their problems.”

The chaos in the opposition, said Minister Ziyambi, was costing the country dearly through financing by-elections.

“What we have done is, where they have been unable to agree with each other and where they have expelled each other, we have followed due process and allowed by-elections to happen. In fact, in my earlier statements, I have said that their foolishness has cost the country a lot of funds in terms of financing the by-elections.”

Zanu-PF’s parliamentary majority following last year’s harmonised elections, he added, was sufficient for the party to govern, proving it has no incentive to cause the by-elections.

“We were pretty much happy with the results and we were going to work along the lines of the results that we had, contrary to their view that we are obsessed with a two-thirds majority. Our leader indicated that we must respect the will of the people and work with what we have; that is the message that came from His Excellency. He said let’s work with what we got and that is what we were geared to do. But fortunately for us, and unfortunately for the economy, they decided to fight among themselves, and who are we to say we don’t want to go for a by-election when the law stipulates that is the procedure to follow? We are not in any way interested in a two-thirds majority; we have a sufficient majority in Parliament to ensure that what is required to govern the country happens.”

Mr Chamisa’s attempts to sully the country’s electoral processes were an attempt to clutch at straws following his party’s comprehensive defeat in August last year, he added.

“In his childish cries, he says Zanu-PF manipulated the delimitation exercise. But you will recall that Zanu-PF MPs were at the forefront of pinpointing certain deficiencies in the delimitation report. But the way our laws are couched is such that Parliament and the President or political parties do not approve the delimitation process.”

These institutions, he said, were only given the leeway to comment on the report in terms of the law.

“And the comments that were given, even by the President and Zanu-PF, were critical of the report. And at that particular time, the CCC never gave a comment attacking the delimitation report. But now that he has decided to abandon his family, he now says the delimitation exercise was manipulated in favour of Zanu-PF, which we deny.”

Minister Ziyambi said Mr Chamisa’s claims that his party was frustrated during election campaigns were unfounded.

“He now complains that Zanu-PF wanted to bar his candidates from contesting in Bulawayo. But Zanu-PF merely followed the processes and argued in court that their people submitted nomination papers out of time and the court ruled that they will allow them to contest.”

He also said claims that there was a “legitimacy crisis” in the country were false.

“We went to an election, the independent electoral body conducted the election, the results were announced and a Government was formed. This means there is no legitimacy crisis; actually, things are extremely normal.”

He advised CCC legislators to respect the will of the people and continue with their work in Parliament.

Breaking News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our website and receive notifications of Breaking News by email.