Chaos in CCC as Tshabangu, Timba, Mkwananzi and Welshman Ncube tussle for political party funds

Self-imposed CCC Secretary-General Sengezo Tshabangu

Four factions of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) are locked in an intense fight for the party’s share of funds that are disbursed by the Government under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

Messrs Sengezo Tshabangu, Jameson Timba and Promise Mkwananzi, as well as Professor Welshman Ncube, have separately written to Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi asking for the funds to be deposited into their respective bank accounts.

They all claim to be the legitimate leaders of the opposition political party.

Only the ruling party, ZANU PF, and CCC qualify to receive a share of the funding in terms of the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

Parties that receive at least 5 percent of the total votes cast in the general election qualify for State funding.

Each party’s share is proportional to the number of National Assembly seats they secured in the previous election.

During the 2023 harmonised elections, ZANU PF won 136 National Assembly seats, while the CCC only managed 73.

In January, CCC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa quit the party in a huff owing to internecine fights, plunging the political outfit into further turmoil.

Multiple factions have since emerged within the party, with several officials claiming proprietorship.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Minister Ziyambi said the opposition’s share of funds will only be allocated to the legitimate CCC representatives.

“ZANU PF has already written to us, and everything is clear,” he said.

“However, there is confusion in the CCC camp. There are a lot of letters coming from the CCC, so we said to them we cannot give them the money when we do not know the legitimate representative of the party.

“So, we believe they will sort themselves out or even in the courts if need be.”

The Government, he said, will not release funds to any of the factions until their disputes have been resolved.

“If they do not, we will withhold their funds; these are public funds, and we cannot just give them to anyone.

“So, we will release the amount that is due to ZANU PF and withhold what is due to them until they sort themselves out.

“I have received four letters from the CCC.

“I saw four separate letters from Timba, Tshabangu, the now acting president (Prof Ncube) and Promise Mkwananzi, who all purported to be representing someone.

“All these letters have not been withdrawn, so we wait for them to do the correct thing.”

Minister Ziyambi said each party’s share of the funds will be calculated based on the number of seats it has in Parliament.

“We are yet to receive the funds from the Ministry of Finance; however, the funds will be allocated according to the number of seats the party got soon after the elections,” he added.

“So, for example, if the opposition got 25 percent of the seats, they will get 25 percent of the total amount of funds.”

The Political Parties (Finance) Act stipulates that every political party shall be entitled to receive from the State funding payable to it in terms of the Act annually.

It reads: “The minister shall, as soon as is practicable, and in any case no later than 30 days after the beginning of the financial year, publish, with the approval of the minister responsible for finance, a notice in the Gazette specifying the total amount of moneys appropriated for all political parties and the amount that shall be paid to each individual political party in terms of this Act.”

“Each political party whose candidates received at least 5 per centum of the total number of votes cast in the most recent general election shall be entitled to the same proportion of the total moneys appropriated as the total number of votes cast for its candidates in the election bears to the total number of votes cast for all its candidates in that election,” it says.

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