4 months ago 24

News24 | Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, walks away from 'hijacked' party

Nelson Chamisa said the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was "hijacked" by ruling party agents, and he wanted nothing more to do with it.

Nelson Chamisa said the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was "hijacked" by ruling party agents, and he wanted nothing more to do with it.

  • Nelson Chamisa said the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) was "hijacked" by ruling party agents, and he wanted nothing more to do with it.
  • Sengezo Tshabangu, a self-imposed CCC secretary general, has been recalling legislators aligned with Chamisa, sparking by-elections in areas won by Zanu-PF.
  • Chamisa's allies said they were caught by surprise by his abandoning the CCC.

Zimbabwe's popular opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa says he will not "swim in a river with hungry crocodiles" or have anything to do with "sewer pond politics", as he gave 84 reasons why he was resigning from a "hijacked" Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

On Thursday, Chamisa said he was taking a different direction.

This on the second anniversary of the party he formed after facing similar problems with the MDC Alliance.

After the disputed - but not challenged - August 2023 elections, some renegades in the CCC claimed leadership roles that were non-existent because they were disgruntled with the way Chamisa was running the party.

Led by one Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-proclaimed secretary general of the CCC, they engineered a recall of elected parliamentarians and local authority officials, setting up a stage for by-elections. 

Zanu-PF went on to win a majority of the by-elections.

There are more by-elections on the way, as Tshabangu wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), advising it to disqualify anyone going into the elections using the CCC name without his endorsement.

In an interview with local media last month, Tshabangu went as far as saying Chamisa's face, as used in the CCC logo, belonged to the party and he had no right to tell Tshabangu's faction not to use the image.

For aiding Zanu-PF to attain a two-thirds majority in Parliament, Tshabangu and those around him have been branded as ruling party enablers.

Chamisa said this was happening because "the incumbent [President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF] was doing all this because they wanted a government-controlled opposition and alternative.

They also want an opposition that thrives on coupons and stipends, joining the feeding trough and the gravy train, almost being in a hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil mode.

He accused Zanu-PF of using Tshabangu because, "they want to create a weak opposition and a puppet leadership without a base, who compromise on fundamentals of democracy, accountability and good governance".

For that and other reasons, Chamisa said he would have nothing to do with CCC.

Legislators aligned to him were caught by surprise.

Approached by News24, they said they were employing a "wait and see" approach.

"There are two scenarios, I should leave CCC with Chamisa and that means abdicating from my parliamentary seat.

"I used personal funds to campaign, and this is like a job for me now. It's tricky," said one legislator.

Chamisa added he would announce the way forward in due course.


The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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