BY EVANS MATHANDA
Last week Monday the internet carried the portion of the visible spectrum lying between orange and green. It goes without saying that the blond symbolises happiness, warmth and sunshine in most cultures.
In a couple of hours, yellow had taken the trend on social media.
Yellow is the colour in town. Interestingly some had to retrieve their videos and pictures and putting on yellow.
Opposition political leader Nelson Chamisa, last week dropped the bombshell when he announced his new party name Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) at Bronte hotel in Harare. The choice of the yellow colour and the party name created furore on social media.
From now going forward, Chamisa’s supporters will be wearing yellow and will be using the symbol of a finger pointing upwards instead of the traditional open palm of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance and all other MDC factions.
This is a development that has been awaited by both his supporters and those who oppose his political ideas.
The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services was one of the critics whose comment triggered debate on twitter. In a tweet, Ndavaningi Mangwana related the new CCC party to a chameleon that changes its colours, but still remains the same creature.
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“When did a chameleon become a new creature by changing its colour? Good evening beloved ones?” he tweeted.
When did a chameleon become a new creature by changing its colour? 🤷🏽Mswera seyi vadikanwa? pic.twitter.com/qjCtNxBnJ2
— Nick Mangwana (@nickmangwana) January 24, 2022
For the first time in over 20 years, the MDC will no longer be the main opposition party on the ballot papers. What does it mean? Is it the real change or the proliferation of many opposition parties in Zimbabwe ahead of the forthcoming 2023 election?
This time, it will be Chamisa’s new party, the Citizens’ Coalition for Change. Chamisa himself and his followers have maintained that they formed a new party and not rebranded, distancing themselves from the name MDC. But is he going to pull the crowds as did the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai?
It seems the new party’s message is similar to the MDC, calling for change but placing citizens at the centre. Is it the strategy to win the hearts of the Zimbabweans?
The CCC’s first assessment of its popularity will be in March when they contest by-elections under the new yellow banner.
Before the launch press conference in Harare last week, the party had uploaded a dummy profile picture on their official Twitter handle and captioned “Citizens’ Action for Change……”
Chamisa also tweeted a photo of a pregnant woman wearing a yellow dress, the personification was in effect conveying a new party name that was to be announced.
The photo caption reads:
“Baby girl or baby boy?
The baby is about to be born.
And the parents are the citizens.
And the village witches want to steal and or kill this baby.
It’s a new birth not a rebirth.
And the name is….It’s a new day!” he tweeted.
Chamisa has been locked in battle with leader of the MDC-T Douglas Mwonzora over the MDC-Alliance name. Some political analysts had advised Chamisa to let go of the MDC Alliance name and form a new party name. But the decision did not come overnight despite the pressure he got form his legion of netizen supporters.
Last year, a Bulawayo resident with strong Zanu PF links, Varaidzo Musungo, wrote to Zec claiming ownership of the name Citizens Convergence for Change, which was being widely used by opposition Nelson Chamisa’s party.
However, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said it has not yet officially recognised the controversial CCC as a political party in Zimbabwe because it did not provide enough details upon notifying the commission of its existence.
Now that Chamisa has formed a new party, he must not forget that MDC has split numerous times over its more than 20-year history. As the leader for the new party, Chamisa should ensure that there are sound effective strategies with stamina to avoid unnecessary in-house fights.
Chamisa must also have a plan to ensure the visibility of his new party in remote areas ahead of the 2023 elections.
- Evans Mathanda is a journalist and development practitioner who writes in his personal capacity. For feedback email: [email protected] or call 0719770038 and Twitter @EvansMathanda19