THE opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says it will not be coaxed by Zanu PF into forming party structures because the formations are “old fashioned”.
Since its formation in January last year, the Nelson Chamisa Chamisa-led party has been criticised for lack of structures.
Last Thursday, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa castigated Chamisa’s party at a Press conference in Harare, saying it has failed to convince voters of its strength ahead of elections because it does not have structures.
Mutsvangwa went on to say the CCC party would split as soon as they hold a congress.
“We (Zanu PF) are going through all the processes to ensure that we are ready for elections. We believe in openness. Our party is an open field, unlike other parties that complain that they are being constrained by Zanu PF. Surely, we cannot stop them from having a congress,” Mutsvangwa told journalists.
“They are afraid that if they go through that path, they will split again. They have run out of the alphabet splitting; from MDC this, MDC that, now they are going for triple C. Soon they will be going for quad C, decimate C and so on.”
In response, CCC deputy party spokesperson Felix Mafa Sibanda said party structures were old fashioned.
“Zanu PF is worried of a non-event. A party is made up of people; a party without membership is useless. We have membership all over the country and the members are the structures. Who needs structures, they are an old-fashioned way? We don’t see why Zanu PF should worry about us to say we should have structures. Why are they interested?
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“We have people throughout the country, we will win without structures, and we have structures that we know ourselves — these are the people, the membership,” Sibanda said, adding that CCC is not a bogus organisation.
Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said there is, however, need for CCC to come up with an administrative and political framework to ensure smooth running of party affairs ahead of polls expected this year.
“The old political order is to have a structure that starts from the lowest administrative element up to the presidential level. It now depends on the way they want to present their brand. So my humble submission is that as a party, it is difficult to mobilise and organise if you don’t have an identifiable administrative and political entity. Effective mobilisation is based on identifiable administrative and political entities. So it’s important that they have those,” Ngwenya said.
“CCC might not have a structure officially, but I think there is a need for some administrative and political framework for mobilising funds, votes and seeking representation at leadership level.”
Meanwhile, newly-formed and Zanu PF aligned grouping VillageHeads4ED in Mashonaland East province says the opposition CCC will not be allowed to campaign in villages.
In a video that has gone viral on social media, VillageHeads4ED Mashonaland East chairperson, one Arufandika is heard saying they have launched “Operation Fireguard”, which will bar opposition parties from penetrating Zanu PF rural strongholds.
“(As village heads) we are the last defence of the party, we have embarked on what we call Operation Fireguard, whereby no opposition party will be allowed to penetrate villages. We are there in the villages and we are saying to ED (Emmerson Mnangagwa), that as village heads, we are promising you five million votes,” Arufandika said in the video.
The launch coincided with Zanu PF party vice-president Kembo Mohadi’s visit to the province last week where he met village heads and district coordinating committee members.
Heal Zimbabwe Trust advocacy officer Tapiwanashe Chiriga said the move by the village heads was in breach of the country’s Constitution.
“Section 281 of the Constitution bars traditional leaders from furthering the interests of any political party. Not only is this conduct a violation of section 281, it is an attack on the political rights granted in the Bill of Rights,” Chiriga said.
“We have recorded a number of similar cases even in other provinces where chiefs and village heads have acted in the interests of the ruling party and intimidated opposition supporters.”
Chiriga said traditional leaders should be the first to promote political tolerance and respect for the Constitution, as well as build peace and social cohesion during elections.