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CCC disarray boosts Mnangagwa



THE dramatic implosion of Zimbabwe’s main opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) could have handed President Emmerson Mnangagwa the much-needed political advantage to out-manoeuvre regional leaders anxious to resolve Zimbabwe’s post-election crisis, The NewsHawks can report.


 Mnangagwa had a wafer-thin victory over his arch-rival Nelson Chamisa during presidential polls which were described by regional and international election observation missions as following short of meeting local and continental benchmarks.

Barely three months after the polls, the opposition was torn apart after self-imposed CCC secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu recalled lawmakers and local authority councillors in a move which critics said advanced Zanu PF dominance in Parliament.

After a series of ensuing recalls, Chamisa, who was the front-man of the CCC this year, threw in the towel in a shock move which left the opposition in disarray. After Chamisa’s res[1]ignation, the party has been rocked by power tussles.

 Apart from veteran political player Welsh[1]man Ncube and Dingilizwe Tshuma, others who claim to be leaders or are said to be the leaders after Chamisa left include Jameson Timba and Promise Mkwananzi.

This past week, a Sadc preparatory team led by its deputy executive secretary for corporate affairs, Judith Kateera, was in Harare to set the groundwork for the regional bloc’s summit pencilled in for August.

 Zimbabwe will assume the chairmanship of Sadc as host of the event. Kateera, a Zimbabwean national and economist by training, was appointed during the 43rd Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit held in Luanda, Angola, last year.

Stephen Chan, a United Kingdom-based professor of international politics, told The NewsHawks that Mnangagwa will project a rosy image of the southern African country.

 “Sadc will not discuss the elections as the group of nations faces many future challenges and difficulties,” Chan said.

 “But, even if it did discuss the elections, there is no organised group to which to offer redress, i.e. Sadc can’t encourage a re-run of the elections as there is no longer the same op[1]position to contest them. At the Sadc summit, President Mnangagwa will portray himself as head of a stable regime, and such opposition as still exists as manifestly and visibly unstable.”

Vivid Gwede, a political analyst, concurs with Chan that the tabling of the extraordinary report may just be for academic purposes.

“I think that the relevant organs will formally table the extraordinary summit report to the Heads of State and Government Summit,” Gwede said.

“This will probably be a matter of procedure than anything else. It is difficult to see Sadc re-energising the issue. Zimbabwe will probably be handed the chair, confirming the bloc’s challenges in enforcing its democratic standards.

“But that the matter has been discussed in a careful diplomatic context is notable in itself.”

In the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s general elections, Sadc leaders received their controversial election observer mission report on Zimbabwe at an extraordinary summit of heads of state and government in Angola on Saturday, paving way for further action on the issue which has divided the nation, region and international community.

 The NewsHawks has been reporting on behind-the-scenes Sadc processes around Zimbabwe since the country’s shambolic and disputed elections on 23-24 August whose outcome was rejected by the regional body, saying they did not meet the standards set by the country’s constitution, the Electoral Act and Sadc’s Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, as well as international best practice.

 Sadc leaders initially convened for a virtual summit before deciding to meet in person in Luanda to discuss the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe mainly. Eswatini featured due to its recent elections.

 Lesotho was also mentioned, together with other Sadc countries going to elections.

Part of the communiqué issued after the Luanda emergency summit said: “Summit received an update on the elections in the Sadc member states and noted the report of the Sadc Election Observation Mission to the harmonised elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe held in August 2023, and the general elections in the Kingdom of Eswatini in September 2023.

“Summit wished the Republic of Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo peaceful and successful elections as the two Sadc member states hold their elections in November and December 2023, respectively, and reiterated Sadc’s support through the deployment of the Sadc election observation mission. 

 “Summit reiterated the urgent need for all stakeholders, in particular, political parties in the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Lesotho, to ensure that the reform process is brought to finality in the interest of national political, economic and security stability.

“Summit commended the efforts by H.E. Mr. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço as the designated facilitator by the African Union (AU) in bringing peace in the Eastern DRC.

 Summit mandated the chairperson of Sadc, supported by the organ troika to intensify the diplomatic efforts between the DRC and Rwanda to bring lasting peace in the DRC.

Summit commended H.E. Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia and the chairperson of the organ on politics, defence and security cooperation, for his leadership in sustaining peace and security in the region.”

This came against a backdrop of resistance by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Foreign Affairs minister Fredrick Shava to have Zimbabwe on the agenda and to be discussed at the meeting.

 Sadc, led by Angolan President João Lourenço and Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, warded off Mnangagwa and Shava’s pressure to remove Zimbabwe from the agenda.

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