One of Tshabangu’s closest allies, Mbuso Siso (pictured), a member of the self-appointed nine-member interim steering committee which effected the recalls, says senior party leaders Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti are what Shona-speaking people would call “vana mucheka dzafa” (opportunists in this case) as they have now sprang into action to claim leadership after Nelson Chamisa recently abandoned the party complaining about infiltration by “fraudsters” and Zanu PF political agents.
Chamisa was the CC leader. He is currently carrying out nationwide consultations to form a new political movement — so far just referred to by observers as the “Blue Movement”.
Siso told The NewsHawks: “We started this battle fighting against imposition of candidates before the elections. We fielded double CC candidates to challenge imposed candidates. We came back after the elections with recalls. Our committee gave Tshabangu the mandate to lead the recalls initiative and processes to put the party on a constitutional, structures and democratic path,” Siso said.
“Ncube, Biti and Jacob Mafume (Harare mayor) and all those people now calling themselves the ‘2019 structure’ were not there. Directly or indirectly they did not contribute anything useful to the initiation of the recalls. They may have sympathised with us because they also felt sidelined by Chamisa, but they were not there in a meaningful way or at all. They even went public to clear their names, saying they are not involved or working with us. It was not a strategy on their part; they did not want their names to be associated with us.
“Now they are running around saying they are the 2019 leadership structure which emerged from the Gweru congress. That is political opportunism and dishonesty.
“The 2019 structure died with the MDC-Alliance, particularly after the Supreme Court ruling in 2020 which said Chamisa was not the legitimate leader of MDC-T after he seized power from the legitimate elected deputy Thokozani Khupe and ordered a congress in 90 months. Chamisa came to the MDC-Alliance representing the MDC-T, so if his leadership of that party was nullified by the court, it naturally affected his position in the MDC-Alliance. For better or worse, the court judgment ended up with Mwonzora being the MDC-T leader after controversially beating Khupe. That is why after his victory, he claimed the MDC-Alliance leadership by virtue of being MDC-T. So going back to the 2019 MDC-Alliance structure amounts to inviting Mwonzora back to our political affairs and getting into yet another political entanglement with him.”
So why are Ncube and Biti, as well as their faction, pushing for the 2019 MDC leadership structure to be revived and imposed on the CCC?
Siso explains: “Obviously, they will say the CCC is an extension, expression or manifestation of the MDC as it was formed through a resolution of its predecessor. But that is a convenient explanation. The truth is that 2019 structure ceased to exist and was overtaken by events when the Supreme Court made that ruling on the MDC-T leadership and Chamisa, which has implications for the MDC-Alliance.
“There may be different interpretations of that, but these leaders are lawyers and experienced politicians, good old people; they know very well it was better for us to dissociate ourselves with that MDC political baggage, which is why we formed the CCC, but for political expediency they now want us to go back there. The truth is that they are eyeing the money which has to be disbursed to the party in terms of the law, Political Parties (Finance) Act that provides for financing of political parties in Parliament by the state.
“The US$2 million or so at stake is the real issue, not what they are saying. They have no legitimate claim to the party leadership and the money. That money belongs to the party and for now until congress, I’m the treasurer-general of the committee which effected recalls and ran the party, meaning the de facto leadership structure. The 2019 MDC-Alliance structure does not come in. It no longer exists. So they must not mislead the people. Even the constitution that we submitted to Parliament (lower House), Senate, the courts and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is different from the one that MDC-Alliance used in 2019. So on what basis does the 2019 structure, including Ncube and Biti, come in?”
Chamisa recently dropped a political bombshell today, abandoning the opposition which has MPs, senators and councillors, as well as mayors, some of whom have been recalled and replaced by Tshabangu’s supporters and Zanu PF MPs through by-elections.
The recent by-elections on 3 February, for instance, gave Zanu PF a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, but not in the Senate.
“As acting treasurer-general, I want all the books, accounts and records of expenditures for accountability purposes. We need to know from records of how much the party received from the state, donations and how the money was used. We also need to know if the party has some assets that should remain in its name after his [Chamisa’s] departure,” he said.
“The money due to the party from the state must come through the committee structures so that there is accountability. Otherwise, it will also be misused at the expense of the party. The committee remains in charge until congress. Anything else is just opportunism.”
The committee running the CCC has Dingilizwe Tshuma, former legislator for Entumbane-Njube constituency in Bulawayo as chair; Albert Mhlanga (former Pumula MP and deputy); Tshabangu (secretary-general); Khaliphani Phugeni (information); Sikhululekile Moyo (interim chairperson for women); Nomvula Mguni (ex-proportional representation MP), Siso (treasurer) and Benoni Ncube (youth).
This is the self-imposed CCC structure which implemented the recalls, leading to Chamisa quitting, saying the party has now been “hijacked, bastardised and contaminated” by impostors and fraudsters.
Siso says the committee is the de facto structure running the party, especially after Chamisa’s departure and will push to take it forward to congress and into the future.Post published in: Featured