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Tshabangu accused of turning CCC into regional outfit

Tshabangu has been calling the shots since he emerged claiming to be the secretary general late last year, rendering Chamisa powerless.

Self-imposed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary general  Sengezo Tshabangu has been accused of reducing the opposition party into a  regional outfit after snatching it from its former leader, Nelson Chamisa.

Chamisa quit the CCC last month saying it had been hijacked by the state and Zanu PF using its proxies such as Tshabangu.

Tshabangu has been calling the shots since he emerged claiming to be the secretary general late last year, rendering Chamisa powerless.

After recalling a number of CCC Members of Parliament (MPs), councilors and senators, Tshabangu has gone on to have his allies from Matabeleland put into other key interim positions.

Some of his allies include Mbuso Siso (national treasurer), Albert Mhlanga (deputy national chairperson), Sikhululekile Moyo (women assembly chairperson) and Nomvula Mguni (national director for elections) all from Bulawayo.

Last week, Tshabangu’s camp issued a statement saying they were returning the party back to the 2019 structures in a meeting that was chaired by former deputy president, Welshman Ncube.

At the meeting, Nqobizitha Mlilo was announced as the party’s spokesperson with Marondera Central Member of Parliament Caston Matewu and Emakhandeni-Luveve MP Discent Bajila serving as his deputies.

Tshabangu’s spokesperson Kaliphani Phugeni, however, denied charges that the interim self-imposed secretary general had regionalised the party.

“Why accuse the SG on utterances of others over his own?,” Phugeni asked when contacted for comment.

“The SG is still in Harare on different matters including court cases.

“Engagement with the president is an initiative for the collective and not the SG alone,.”

Mhlanga also denied charges that they had gone regional.

“We are just stationed in Matabeleland, but we are a national structure,” Mhlanga said.

Political analyst Effie Ncube, however, said a broader national representation was important for broader appeal and wider democratic representation.

“It usually enhances opportunities for greater influence on  the direction of politics in the country,” Ncube commented.

“However, any national party must always be inclusive and representative of political and regional opinions.

“It should not be national in name, but regional in practice. This is very important.”

He added that it should be equally concerning if organisations called themselves national without representation of all regions.

Ncube, however, cautioned that it was baseless to claim that any organisation becomes regional simply because of positions.

“That said, we should avoid the pitfall of cheap politics that views anything whose leadership structures are mainly or solely composed of people from Matabeleland as necessarily regional while not applying the same scale and approach on organisations whose top leadership structures are solely composed of leaders from other provinces,’’ Ncube said

Bulawayo spokesperson of a Chamisa aligned faction Swithern Chirowodza  said Tshabangu had ‘destroyed’ what was a national party.

 “Even people in Zanu PF are laughing,” Chirowodza said before accusing Tshabangu of being captured by Zanu PF," he said.

“The problem that we are having is that Zanu PF wants a certain type of CCC and for CCC to structure itself the way it wants.

“This is why they created a Tshabangu.”

Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Archibald Chiponda said the ruling party had nothing to do with CCC internal  politics."

In Harare, CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi had last week declared himself as the interim CCC acting president after Chamisa left. 

Mkwananzi later said they had appointed senator Jameson Timba, as the chair of an administrative committee that includes Lesley Mkurazhizha, Ralf Magunje, Gideon Shoko, David Chimini, Prince Dubeko-Sibanda, Morgan Ncube, Gondongwe, Susan Matsunga, Josiah Makombe and Maggie Chakabuda.

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