THE recalls of 15 Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators and 17 councillors by Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the party’s interim secretary-general, could have been avoided if the opposition had not imposed candidates in the Matabeleland region, some observers have said.
Civil society leaders and political commentators this week argued that the recalls could have been avoided if the CCC leadership had respected people’s wishes.
They argued that the CCC leadership should have localised the candidates’ selection process.
Tshabangu said the affected MPs had ceased to be party members.
He also argued that the candidates were imposed against the will of the local people, especially in Bulawayo.
In an interview with Southern Eye, Nkayi Community Parliament speaker Nhlanhla Moses Ncube said Tshabangu was not the only aggrieved CCC member.
“Nearly all CCC members in Matabeleland are against it except the few who are beneficiaries of the misdeeds by their party leader Nelson Chamisa. The other issue is the sidelining of seasoned politicians who are feared by Chamisa,” he said.
“It was predictable that the ploy to silence them would not succeed. The third group that is disaffected includes general voters from Matabeleland who feel disrespected by Chamisa’s one-man show.”
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Ncube said the problem was, ironically, in both Zanu PF and CCC.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairman Ambrose Sibindi said the problem has been a cause for concern for years.
“This has been the concern of the people for many years, but unfortunately this has been falling on deaf ears. These political parties do whatever they want. I think these political parties enjoy so much support and by doing so they think they have a right to do whatever they want which is very bad,” Sibindi said.
He said the same challenge affected Chamisa’s MDC Alliance and he was forced to send a committee led by Lynette Kore to deal with mounting tension ahead of the 2018 elections.
“People raised pertinent issues to say ‘go to Harare, you will not find people from Matabeleland being councillors or MPs in Harare, the same as in Mutare’,” he said.
Sibindi said people were concerned that candidates were imposed on them.
“Political parties must give in to what people are asking for whether it is Zanu PF, CCC, NCA or MDC. Whenever they areputting candidates for political office, the message is clear, that let’s have people from the region,” he said.
“We have a lot of people who are capable, people who understand cultural issues, let them lead. Why are you sidelining them? Why are you bringing other people who do not understand our cultural issues?”
In his statement, Tshabangu accused the CCC of desecrating the party’s founding values which placed the citizens at the centre of politics.
He said the nomination process for the August 23 harmonised election was turned into a circus as party officials ran roughshod over the will of the people.
Tshabangu said in some cases, candidates nominated by citizens were disqualified by dubious vetoes that had no legitimate basis, besides the pursuit of personal agendas.
He further pointed out that it was also unacceptable that CCC presented itself to the Zimbabwean body politic and the outside world as doyens of democracy while practicing fascism in pursuit of personal ambitions.
Tshabangu added that the recalls were redemptive because they sought to reaffirm and entrench a democratic culture.