OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday named a shadow cabinet, but denied speculative reports that his party had started setting up formal structures.
Chamisa has been under attack from critics over the CCC’s lack of formal structures since the formation of the opposition party several months ago.
In a correspondence to the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, Chamisa named one of his deputies, Tendai Biti, as shadow finance minister in what insiders said was the first step towards setting formal structures.
But CCC deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba said they were only following Parliament rules.
“Parliament requested us to deploy legislators that would work with specific ministries. This has been the tradition. That’s why we have deployed 19 of them to be working with Parliament’s specific line ministries,” he said.
A shadow cabinet is made up of senior members of the main opposition party who act as spokesperson in specific policy areas.
“In terms of structures, the party is not yet launched. Once we set a date for launch, we will announce. We are building the movement from below. Our focus at the moment is how we register young people to vote and mobilise the society towards change,” Siziba added.
Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya applauded Chamisa for creating the shadow cabinet.
“He has done a good thing because if you are a government in waiting, you need to comment, analyse and critique government policies related to specific ministries. This will give voters an opportunity to listen and observe alternative policies CCC is going to have for each,” he said.
But analyst Methuseli Moyo described the appointment of shadow ministers in the absence of grassroots structures as absurd.
“It seems the CCC leadership is concerned with deploying each other into portfolios and leadership positions, without any grassroots structures to back up the top,” Moyo said
Chamisa named Chalton Hwende (Defence and War Veterans), Willias Madzimure (Industry and Commerce), Susan Matsunga (Women’s affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development) and Judith Tobaiwa (Health and Child Care), among others, as shadow ministers.
Others named in the CCC shadow cabinet are Fani Munengami (Primary and Secondary Education, Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development), Happymore Chidziva (Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation), Wellington Chikombo (Local Government and Public Works), Eric Murai (Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement), Johnson Matambo (Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry), Settlement Chikwinya (Transport and Infrastructure Development).
Kucaca Phulu (Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs), Murisi Zwizwai (Mines and Mining Development), Prince Sibanda (Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services) and Dickson Tarusenga (Energy and Power Development) were also named in Chamisa’s shadow cabinet.
Godfrey Koster was named Caucus secretary for the CCC party in the National Assembly, while Prosper Mutseyami will be the party’s chief whip.