Beleaguered Chamisa dragged over hot coals

Mr Nelson Chamisa

DISGRUNTLED Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) members slammed the opposition party’s leader Mr Nelson Chamisa during his visit in Bulawayo last week accusing him of imposing his inner circle to contest on the party ticket in Bulawayo province in the recent harmonised elections.

The imposition of candidates has been blamed for the ongoing recalling of National Assembly Members by the opposition party.

The chaos obtaining in the opposition party is said to be an indictment on Mr Chamisa’s leadership style as he is accused of turning the party into a personal project.

Parliament has declared 15 seats vacant after CCC interim secretary general Mr Sengenzo Tshabangu recalled them for not being part of the opposition movement.

Mr Chamisa is said to have been confronted by an angry mob as he moved to address party members at MacDonald Hall in Mzilikazi suburb last Friday.

Party insiders said Mr Chamisa was scheduled to address party supporters from 3.30pm to 4.30pm in a closed-door meeting only attended by party members. He was, however, ambushed by aggrieved party members who hurled insults at him while others pelted his car with stones.

Mr Chamisa is on a nationwide crusade to engage CCC members following the party’s loss in the 23/24 August general elections.

Prior to the meeting in Bulawayo, the opposition leader had engaged members in Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North provinces.

CCC insiders said disgruntled party members confronted Mr Chamisa over the imposition of candidates resulting in skirmishes.

 “It nearly got messy during Friday’s meeting as some of the aggrieved party members confronted Mr Chamisa over the imposition of candidates. The angry members charged at him as he approached the venue hurling insults,” said a party insider.

He said the situation was tense but fortunately the security managed to whisk him away.

The source said Mr Chamisa however seemed unmoved by the protestors who were saying there is urgent need to bring the house to order. 

“They demanded answers from him on the imposition of candidates. Some of the issues raised were that some of the candidates were not bona fide Bulawayo residents while others had pending criminal cases and were being pursued by the police,” said the source.

He said protestors told Mr Chamisa that individuals of questionable credentials were selected ahead of respected members who have been in trenches for a very long time. 

They gave examples of people like Ambrose Sibindi, who has worked with residents in the Nketa suburb, and Dr Mandla Nyathi, a respected technocrat who was sidelined.

The source said the recalling of 15 MPs cannot be divorced from the unpopular candidates’ selection process that resulted in deserving candidates being sidelined.

Former CCC Nkulumane National Assembly member Advocate Kucaca Phulu, said what is happening shows that there are divisions within the opposition party.

“It also highlights fissures that exist within this movement because the movement itself does not have inbuilt platforms to discuss internal matters or to resolve crises. I always say the first thing that democrats must do whenever faced with such internal turmoil is to engage,” he said.

Mr Phulu said members are supposed to engage as opposed to fighting because the reflex to fight is destructive.

“ I have on another platform urged people to engage as quickly as possible because we have seen this before and we know where it leads,” he said.

Adv Phulu said CCC should first address the issue of structures.

“You need to create sufficient platforms internally in order to discuss internal matters or to resolve disputes internally. You need to ensure that there is sufficient mechanism to do that,” he said.

Mr Phulu said where there are no plaforms to discuss issues, people resort to discussing the issues on social media such as WhatsApp platforms, in bars and churches and this results in the confusion being witnessed in the CCC party.

CCC deputy spokesperson Mr Gift Siziba

CCC deputy spokesperson Mr Gift Siziba could not be reached for comment as his cellphone was unreachable.

But in a statement on X (former Twitter), the opposition party which was supposed to address the media yesterday,expressed regret for not being able to respond to the press.

“Due to some circumstances, we are unable to proceed as planned. We understand the inconvenience and disappointment this may cause and assure you that we are working to reschedule promptly. We appreciate your understanding and will provide you with the updated details as soon as possible,” read the statement.

Chronicle

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