FORMER MDC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa conceded defeat in the battle for control of the heart and soul of the opposition party as he surrendered the name MDC-Alliance to adopt the name Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC).
The party that Mr Chamisa formed yesterday at a local hotel in Harare will also adopt the colour yellow instead of red. It will change its punch-slogans in what leaves his nemesis Mr Douglas Mwonzora with the brand MDC.
Insiders said Mr Chamisa is also spawning a legal imbroglio as the party’s name change did not go through congress, while at the same time he is self-appointing himself, president of the new party with powers to appoint structures something that they said smacks of tyranny.
Because of this, analysts said the so-called CCC reeks of political cultism as it follows his name and the slogan (Chamisa Chete Chete) and like a water bubble, it will pop much to the dismay of its ever-shrinking political base.
The fact that political activity is constrained by the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic will make it difficult for him to sell his new party to the populace, analysts opined.
“My opinion is quite clear. This will further narrow down his political mileage given the vicinity of the 2023 elections. The problem most opposition politicians have in Africa is personality cultism. That tendency to think that the party is domiciled in the leader’s charisma. I foresee a big disappointment awaiting this momentary bubble. It takes years to build national structures, let alone grassroots structures. And worse, given Covid-19 environment and accompanying restrictions on movement vis a vis remaining time, this sounds like a pipe-dream,” opined Dr Augustine Tirivangani.
The original MDC that was formed at the behest of white farmers who had lost their privileges has over the years been characterised by splits and Mr Chamisa’s decision to rebrand has been described by some analysts as a harbinger of splits to come as they were divisions over the name, which some top leaders regard as personalising the party.
Political analyst, Mr Gibson Nyikadzino, said the idea behind the change of the party name is to manipulate structures to impose leadership loyal to him.
“It is his project and the people are being fooled, again. How do citizens elect a candidate without an internal electoral process as they are doing away with primary elections?”
He added that Mr Chamisa has proven that he does not have the mettle of the party founding leader, the late Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who stuck to his party name even through the messy splits.
“It is easier to mend a relationship than starting a new one altogether. Mr. Chamisa has effectively surrendered the fight for institutional legacy to Douglas Mwonzora. He cannot even replace and fill the Tsvangirai void because the latter fought against his foes in Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti, Job Sikhala among others. Chamisa’s idea to rebrand is symbolic of a man who when he loses a fight, will think of starting anew and as a result, his project is set to rebrand itself out of political existence. The political terrain will not be shaken by his announcement because it is highly tilted in favour of Zanu PF in terms of organisation, numbers, and strategy. He has just started from the deep end.
“It is a kindergarten excitement at a new adventure, which is going to be hard to sustain because if Chamisa can be beaten by Mwonzora, what mischief will make him think he and his outfit will withstand the Zanu PF juggernaut,” said Mr Nyikadzino.
During the launch of the party, Mr Chamisa threatened to cause havoc if he fails to win the 2023 elections.
“We will be checking on ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission), this time we will not allow ZEC to play and join the other team. If they do so they are setting the country in an irresistible motion. I am not threatening, I am giving a promise,” he said.
Reacting to Mr Chamisa threats, political analyst Mr Collin Mharadzano said a hyena will always be a hyena even by another name.
“The people of Zimbabwe are grounded intellectually and they are not gullible, hence they will identify a hyena by its ideological orientation, in this case, they will never forgive Chamisa and his allies for lobbying for the heinous sanctions embargo and perchance for violence. Whilst confusion has always been the hallmark of this imperialistic outfit, the change of name and its colours will further deepen the chaotic conundrum, which will be welcome news to the revolutionary party Zanu-PF which as expected will romp to victory judging by the manner the Second Republic has executed its mandate bestowed to it by the people thus far.
“Remember, Chamisa and others have always benefited from the politics of protest which have their origins in the student movement. With the New Dispensation delivering on its promises, this new outfit will find it difficult to enter the political terrain which is currently dominated by the ruling revolutionary party, Zanu PF ably led by His Excellency Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa,” said Mr Mharadzano.
Another political analyst Mr Alex Munyonga said the bickering and splits in the MDC are good news for the ruling party Zanu PF
“The timing for the MDC breakaways and rebranding are in fact a form of election suicide. They are digging their own political graves whose endless depths will escort them into political oblivion come the impending by-elections and the 2023 harmonised elections.
“It needs to be highlighted also that it is not mere rhetoric that matters in political circles, instead it is the demonstration of socio-economic developmental menthol that counts. In the light of this reality the Chamisa’s rebranding remains hollow if it is not augmented by socio-economic praxis.
“The composure and focus being displayed by ZANU PF in preparation for the impending by-elections as well as 2023 elections should be understood as the arsenal for ZANU PF victory.
“More often than not the opposition shoots itself in the foot but surprisingly proceeds to blame their political competitor for the bruises and bleeding. Learning from the ZANU PF approach to politics, a whole is always greater than the sum of its parts, “ said Mr Munyonga.