OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) may diminish its image as a vanguard of democracy if it maintains its stance on not holding an elective congress before 2023 general elections, analysts have indicated.
CCC has said it will not succumb to external pressure to hold a congress although it says consultations with citizens about the issue were still in progress.
Analysts insist that CCC will be handicapped in challenging Zanu PF on democracy if it continues to be run by an interim executive.
Political analyst Methuseli Moyo said: “A congress is what constitutes a party, appoints persons into position to exercise power and administration of party affairs. One wonders how CCC will constitute itself and delegate authority to office bearers.
“Without a congress, CCC remains a collection of friends deploying each other into positions. As such, they would be handicapped to challenge Zanu PF on any issue to do with democracy and procedure.
“In a nutshell, CCC must go to congress before elections to legitimise itself. It can’t take over power when it has not been mandated by anyone. As things stand, CCC is a party in-the-making, and only a congress can constitute a party.”
Another political analyst Vivid Gwede said holding a congress was important for democracy and nothing should override that.
“It is true that a congress may be divisive for CCC ahead of the 2023 elections. But the quest for political change should not trump the imperative for elected leadership as the cornerstone of representative democracy,” Gwede said.
CCC interim spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, however, said the party was carrying out nationwide consultations, the results of which will be made available to the public at the appropriate time.
Said Mahere: “Our priority at the moment is making sure we do the work to win Zimbabwe for change in 2023 and form the next government — not the pursuit of internal positions. We are all change champions who have been tasked with working to mobilise the masses to register to vote, vote and defend the vote next year.
“The CCC is a citizens’ movement that is introducing a new way of doing politics in Zimbabwe with a specific focus on putting the citizens first in all decision-making. The citizens are being consulted about the next steps concerning our internal processes and the outcome of these deliberations will be communicated at the appropriate time.”
She added that the party would not be pushed into a corner by those who have different priorities.
“Zimbabweans have suffered enough and all citizens’ hands must be on deck to fight for lasting change and transformation for the nation,” she said.
Exiled former minister Jonathan Moyo challenged CCC to hold an elective congress as this was according to the dictates of the country’s supreme law.
“The CCC is saying no vacancies and no congress of any kind. CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation) wants to infiltrate us; maybe a people’s convention, get the nomenclature right. But a citizen’s convention is better nomenclature. Wait, CIO can only infiltrate a congress; not a convention since it’s American, right,” Moyo tweeted.
CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba last week said CCC had no plans of holding a congress as Zanu PF plotted to infiltrate their movement.
“Let me clear this once and for all, there are people who are motivated by Zanu PF, to imagine and think that we are going for a congress. Look we are a new political organisation, we do not hold congresses and we have no intention to hold congress.
“In CCC, the congress does not exist …it is in the headquarters of Zanu PF and CIO, who in their imagination think we are going to have a congress and they can deploy their people,” Siziba said.
Zanu PF director of communications Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the infiltration claims by the opposition were an indicator that Zanu PF is everywhere.
“Are they suggesting that with that claim they are also Zanu PF? Zanu PF will be glad to hear that the organisation which claims to be the biggest opposition is now claiming that it has Zanu PF membership within it,” Magwadi said.
“But most importantly, it is their fear of leadership acrimony which continues to dog the organisation, the leadership acrimony which they carried from their old party MDC. They are clueless. They don’t have a constitution, and they claim that the citizens are the structures, but surprisingly they carry the titles which they had when they were in the MDC Alliance.”