DETAILS of how the dramatic and far-reaching recalls of main opposition CCC MPs, senators and councillors were plotted and their reason have emerged.
The plot was started through consultations soon after the August general elections among those CCC activists who are now considered renegades by party leader Nelson Chamisa and his allies.
Their main grievance was what they felt and described as imposition of candidates on the party candidates list prior to the elections during CCC’s unique primaries, which the party termed a consensus-based nomination process.
Following nomination, there was a vetting process through which the recalls activists claim candidates were imposed.
In order to execute the recalls, a mechanism was needed to drive the process which required a strategy and tactical approach to work in an environment where the ruling Zanu PF — which wanted a two-thirds parliamentary majority — had failed to secure it.
Taking advantage of the CCC’s lack of traditional party organisational structure, national structures, office-bearers, pecking order, offices, bank accounts and other relevant administrative services, the disgruntled activists formed their own structure: Interim Steering Committee.
The committee has Dingilizwe Tshuma, former legislator for Entumbane-Njube constituency in Bulawayo as chair; Albert Mhlanga (former Pumula MP and deputy); Sengezo Tshabangu (secretary-general); Khaliphani Phugeni (information); Sikhululekile Moyo (interim chairperson for women); Nomvula Mguni (ex-proportional representation MP), Mbuso Siso (treasurer) and Benoni Ncube (youth).
This is the self-imposed CCC structure that implemented the recalls.
The recalls were later hijacked by other disgruntled CCC officials, Zanu PF and state security agents.
Siso blames CCC senior official Tendai Biti and his allies like Jacob Mafume for “hijacking the process and coming up with the recalls in Harare”.
He says his group has no intention to remove party leader Nelson Chamisa, but to correct “many wrongs” within the movement.
Siso adds recalls have ended and were never intended to trigger a sweeping wave of removals of legitimately elected people’s representatives, but to boot out imposed MPs, senators and councillors who don’t come from local communities, hence do not represent the legitimate interests of the people.
He says the group behind the recalls is not working in collaboration with Zanu PF because “this is an internal matter” and the “ruling party is a national problem for all of us”.
The underlying motivation of the recalls, Siso says, was to deal internal impositions of candidates in Bulawayo, but the plan has now been hijacked by some Harare political actors, including those loyal to Biti.
Biti has denied association with Tshabangu and the recalls. Siso says all recalls in Harare were done by activists loyal to Biti and not by Tshabangu.
Sources say some Zanu PF elements have also joined the fray.
In a wide-ranging interview with The NewsHawks, Siso says: “The plan from the beginning was to recall imposed MPs and other representatives who do not originally come from Bulawayo communities. Local people, those who come from particular localities concerned, should represent local communities. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in Bulawayo, Harare, Masvingo, Mutare, Gweru, Kwekwe or Chinhoyi. The principle is that local politics requires local people to lead because they know local issues, the people’s history, grievances, interests, their problems and potential solutions,” he says.
“When you bring people from elsewhere who don’t know the local history, culture and issues, they can’t be useful representatives of the people. Local politics is about local issues in a national context.”
Siso adds: “That’s our motivation, but the process has been hijacked in Harare by Biti’s people. I have heard people say Zanu PF also hijacked the process, but i can’t speak for them. What I know is Biti and Mafume hijacked the process in Harare. It’s no longer what we intended at the start, but there are internal CCC issues which we still need to resolve. We will keep pushing for those issues to be addressed. We have told Chamisa about them before repeatedly, but they were not dealt with. We have no intention of removing Chamisa at all, but we want to help him to stamp out the problem of impositions. We are not working with Zanu PF, but if others are now doing that they are doing it in their own individual capacities, not as part of our interim steering committee. We want a strong opposition to fight for change, not a party of friends and their supporters with imposed candidates.”
— STAFF WRITER.