Citizens Coalition for Change leader, Nelson Chamisa, in a tight spot as fortunes dwindle
With his vocal foot soldiers divided over whether to form a coalition with MDC T leader, Douglas Mwonzora or APA leader, Nkosana Moyo, CCC leader Nelson Chamisa finds himself at a crossroad. Will he go it alone or choose to rally behind one of his rivals in the presidential race billed as one of the most competitive in the country’s history?
After winning the crucial March 26 by-elections, Chamisa appeared before the media to assure Zimbabweans that all was well in the CCC and his 2023 presidential bid was still on course.
However, despite the major victory, Chamisa has been in the limelight because of widening rifts in the CCC and recent events in the party continuously make his journey towards 2023 a mountainous one.
Rumours that CCC legislators, strategists and top officials were sharply divided over whether he should form a coalition with Mwonzora or Nkosana Moyo, the most followed and well resourced presidential aspirants, have been circulating for some time.
However, last week, the differences played out in the open with Welshman Ncube and Tabitha Khumalo openly rejecting the idea of working with Mwonzora who has been recently invited by Chamisa for coalition talks. Instead they opted for Nkosana Moyo whom they said is intellectually fit and much respected across Zimbabwe, raising questions whether Chamisa still had the full backing of his party in his bid to become Zimbabwe’s next President.
His deputy, Tendai Biti, along with legislators, Job Sikhala and Amos Chibaya, defied him by attending a secret coalition meeting with Nkosana Moyo last Monday with rumors saying they all endorsed Moyo’s 2023 Presidential bid. Chamisa had earlier turned down an invitation and dismissed the meeting as inconsequential.
According to insiders, the meeting was organised by Welshman Ncube and Tabitha Khumalo with the perception that the Matabeleland vote will be the deciding factor in the outcome of the 2023 Presidential election.
‘It’s a one-horse race’
“There is only one horse in the coming presidential election. President Mnangagwa. I have officially joined ZANU PF. From today, I have left that rudderless outfit called CCC,” said Blessing Chebundo, former Kwekwe Legislator in Chitungwiza, amid cheers from the crowd.
The CCC leader suffered several blows after so many key officials defected to ZANU PF, citing lack of effective leadership.
“I am one of the people who formed MDC/CCC but because it lacks proper leadership I decided to work with baba Mnangagwa. I want to play in the ZANU PF team, the winning team. I have officially joined ZANU PF,” Chebundo said.
‘Threats to quit the CCC’
However, Welshman Ncube, Tabitha Khumalo and so many others have threatened to quit the party if it forms a coalition with MDC T.
“I don’t want to beat around the bush. I’m still in CCC until the time when they will formally announce a coalition with MDC T, I will quit and stand in MDC N. MDC N is a wave that is sweeping across Matabeleland,” Said a CCC official who spoke on the condition of anynomity.
“Now that Khupe is in. It means we have allowed a snake into the house and now Mwonzora is coming again. We have seen what happened before, if he allows himself to be swallowed by Mwonzora, then he’d go into political oblivion.” He concluded.
“A third way?”
Maybe Chamisa will decide to do it alone but what if he loses? Some analysts have warned that the option comes with its own risks.
“ZANU PF is a big party and has millions of supporters. Chamisa cannot face it alone. If he loses, then his political future will be history since some young leaders from all over Zimbabwe will have bulldozed their way to the high table.”