Sunday 8 October 2023


Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa says an opposition politician, who is making moves to recall the party’s legislators and councilors is not known to them as police are being accused of dragging their feet in dealing with the “fraud”.

Sengezo Tshabangu, a former MDC-T official from Matabeleland North province, last week brew a shocker when he wrote to National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda purporting to recall elected representatives from the country’s main opposition party.

Tshabangu claimed to be CCC’s interim secretary-general and his daring move has been compared with that of MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora, who seized control of the MDC Alliance and went on to purge MPs and councillors that were aligned to Chamisa.

The move severely weakened the opposition and allowed Zanu PF to pass legislation that closed the democratic space with ease and Mwonzora was accused of being on the ruling party’s payroll.

CCC has also accused Tshabangu of being a Zanu PF plant, who worked with the Central Intelligence Organisation-linked Forever Associate Zimbabwe (Faz) to field double candidates for the opposition in the August 23 and 24 harmonised elections.

Zanu PF, which came short of a twothirds majority in the National Assembly, cannot pass constitutional amendments with its numbers and speculation is that plans are afoot to whittle down opposition figures through arrests and other unorthodox means.

Chamisa, who has been holding feedback meetings around the country after he rejected President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s controversial election victory as a “gigantic fraud”, was asked on social media what he was doing concerning the Tshabangu issue.

“He is not a member (of CCC),” he said on (formerly Twitter).

“We know our members. We have solid records.”

On Friday, Chamisa said his MPs and councillors could not be recalled by Tshabangu.

“We won’t allow our MPs to be subjected to nonsense,” Chamisa said during a consultative meeting held in Bulawayo with his MPs and councillors.

Mudenda is yet to make a decision on the “recalls”, but the Zanu PF politburo members' impartiality was questioned during the Mwonzora era as some of the recalls were reversed by the courts.

Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda, who is among 15 legislators and 17 councillors that were “recalled” by Tshabangu, said police said they would do some consultations before they could open a case.

“I went to the police to file a report, but I did not get an RRB or CR number,” Sibanda told The Standard.

“They said they would get back to me after some consultations.”

Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube, referred questions to national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

Nyathi said: “They should seek assistance from the Bulawayo Metropolitan provincial officer. I am sure they will be assisted.”

According to the CCC, Tshabangu is a Zanu PF proxy, being used to force by-elections as the ruling party seeks to win more seats to get a two-thirds majority.

CCC has described Tshabangu as a “petty criminal”.

“The only person, who can recall anyone in the party is president Nelson Chamisa and his leadership, so any other machination is child's play,” party spokesperson, Promise Mkwananzi said.

“Our people must remain focused on pursuing a fresh election.

“We don’t have that (secretary-general) post in our party.

“We don’t have to do anything on the Tshabangu’s stunt. He is just a petty criminal.” Tshabangu told The Standard that he was “targeting criminals around Chamisa.”

“These are internal differences,” he claimed.

“We are trying to correct these imbalances. We are trying to bring the party back to its founding core values.

“We are removing criminals around the president — criminals who were born through an illegitimate process.

“They are a product of an illegitimate bereka mwana process so we want to remove them.

“That is why we had to fight to ensure that all the candidates whom the people had chosen were on the ballot.”

All the candidates that Tshabangu nominated lost in the elections to CCC members.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme warned CCC against downplaying Tshabangu’s move to recall its MPs.

“This exposes the party to manipulation, abuse, and hijack by opportunistic external political structures,” Saungweme sid.

“If there was a system from the beginning, it would not have been easy for Tshabangu to try and recall CCC legislators.

“As it is, they face a mammoth task to overturn Tshabangu’s move.

“The attempt to recall the CCC may look unreasonable, but may affect the party.

“When Mwonzora started his recalls in 2021, many thought it wouldn’t happen, but he succeeded.

“This is a serious threat to the party and cannot be taken lightly.”

In terms of section 129(1)(k) of the constitution, legislators and councils can be recalled from Parliament through a letter by a political party to the speaker of Parliament.

Institute for Security Studies’ Southern Africa programme head, Piers Pigou, said CCC was in trouble.

“This is all about individual interests and crude political agendas and has little to do with the interests of the electorate,” Pigou said.

“This issue is getting way too much attention, but only because CCC slept and walked into this recall madness in the last Parliament.

“The apparent willing participation of Parliament and the speaker’s office underscores once again why this office should not be in the hands of a partisan politician such as Jacob Mudenda.”

Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said the ruling party had nothing to do with the attempts to recall CCC elected represantatives.

“We have nothing to do with CCC squabbles,” Mutsvangwa said.

“Their house is burning, and there is so much infighting it has nothing to do with Zanu PF. We are busy governing.

“The president has already appointed cabinet, and we are preoccupied with growing this economy.

“We are not looking in the rear view mirror. We are looking in the windshield of the future.

“There is no other election coming. “There is no threat coming from the defeated CCC at all.

“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission decided and gave a verdict.” Standard


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