HARARE – Self-proclaimed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu has vowed his faction was still in control of the main opposition in comments he made to journalists on Tuesday moments after he took oath as a Matabeleland North senator.

The controversial politician, hated among opposition die-hards for ordering unpopular recalls on elected CCC legislators in the past five months, was adamant the party shall not die even after popular former leader Nelson Chamisa’s unceremonious exit early this year.

“The party is very much alive; the reason why I am still standing, the reason that I and my colleagues are still standing and we are sworn in today,” Tshabangu said.

“We are in control of this movement; we are going to continue discharging our duties.”

The opposition is on a knife edge after Chamisa dumped the party leaving three factions all claiming its control.

Tshabangu urged other CCC legislators who are still sitting on the fence to side with his faction.

“Time is ticking away for them; they need to embrace the moving train. We are the people, we are the alternative, we need to put the government on its toes,” he said.

Tshabangu, who denies opposition claims he was a Zanu PF front, was sworn in together with seven other loyalists who snatched seats previously occupied by recalled MPs.

The hawkish politician, who was a hardly known quantity in local politics until his bombshell recalls October last year, said he felt good about his debut as a legislator.

“It’s a great feeling. And I am happy for the people of Zimbabwe and I hope I am going to represent them well. This is the beginning of a new chapter for the politics of Zimbabwe,” he said.