Friday 30 June 2023


THE opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)’s house is on fire in Manicaland as aspiring candidates who were unfairly disqualified during the candidates selection process are up in arms with the party’s leadership and are going to contest during the August 23 polls as independent candidates, The Manica Post has learnt.

This has left the CCC at sixes and sevens in Chipinge South and Makoni Central Constituencies where four candidates have gone rogue and successfully lodged their nomination papers as independent candidates after being denied tickets to represent the party.

The Nomination Court, which sat last week on Wednesday to accept candidates’ applications, brought to the surface divisions that CCC officials have been trying to keep under wraps.

The CCC aspiring candidate for Chipinge South — Mr Army Maunde — and three disgruntled Rusape councillors, including outgoing Rusape Town Council vice-chairman, Councillor Peter Kwesha (Ward 10), as well as Councillor Munyaradzi Preference Chigwede (Ward Eight) and Councillor Elizabeth Trinity Chidza (Ward Three), are not taking it lightly after their controversial disqualification.

These candidates have pulling power among their supporters, and have vowed to use those votes against the party as a way to vent their anger.

The candidates cited unfair treatment, vote-rigging and questionable winning margins that did not match the voter turn-out as the reasons to go head on against the party as independent candidates.

The disgruntled CCC members have vowed to resist persuasions by party officials to withdraw from the race.

Mr Maunde, who is popularly known as Amex at Checheche Growth Point, accused the party leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa, of elbowing him out to pave way for his blue-eyed boy, Mr Clifford Hlatywayo.

In Chipinge South, Mr Maunde will face five other candidates, that is Mr Hlathwayo (CCC), the incumbent and veteran politician, Cde Enock Porusingazi (Zanu PF), Mr Ronald Mlambo (Independent), Mr Takawira Mupakati (NCA) and Mr Nelson Sithole (DUZ).

Party supporters are arguing that Mr Hlatywayo is detached from the grassroots.

They say he only surfaced during the fraudulent internal candidates selection process.

On the other hand, Mr Maunde, a local businessman, argues that all along he has been the face of the opposition in the constituency, only to be axed at the last minute.

In a telephone interview with The Manica Post, Mr Maunde said he was short-changed by the opposition party since 2008 and decided to go solo.

“I have been working tirelessly for the opposition party for a long time, but I am always being given a raw deal. In 2008 I was told to step down for Mr Meki Makuyana who contested and won the Chipinge South seat. I thought my turn would come in 2013, but nothing materialised.

“The same happened in 2018. Come 2023, there is still nothing for me and I have had enough of being used. There was no consensus during the so-called candidates selection process. Seats were reserved for the leadership’s blue-eyed boys. There was manipulation of the whole selection process.

“At first we were told that the selection process would be done at Checheche, but the venue was changed at the last minute for Chisumbanje to ensure that Hlathwayo wins,” said Mr Maunde.

He added: “There is nothing democratic in CCC because when we asked for dialogue, they came up with a flimsy excuse saying the leadership’s vehicle had broken down on its way to Chipinge to address our concerns.

“I have the grassroots’ support, and that is why I opted to go independent. This signals the demise of Hlathwayo and CCC in Chipinge South,” said Mr Maunde. Manica Post






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