PROMINENT Bulawayo lawyer Tavengwa Hara has distanced himself from the shadowy Citizens for Convergence for Change (CCC) that listed him as its lawyer upon notifying the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) of its existence and intention to contest the 2023 elections.
The CCC has often been cited as an alternative party name to the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance owing to unending contestation for the name with the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC.
Mwonzora recently laid claim to the MDC Alliance name.
In a letter addressed to Zec dated 20 September, CCC secretary-general Farai Zhou named Varaidzo Musungo and Hara as presidential candidate and lawyer respectively.
“In the interests of better communication, we are sourcing offices in Harare and will advise once we have these. In the meantime, we ask that you contact us through our legal practitioners, Messrs T Hara and Partners, 2nd Floor, CIPF Centre, J. Moyo, 10th Street, Bulawayo,” the letter reads.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba and Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu also posted the same letter on Twitter, fuelling speculation that the CCC was a government-sponsored vehicle to undermine Chamisa.
In fact, Charamba posted the letter on Twitter while it was being typed and before it had reached Zec.
Hara told The NewsHawks he knows nothing about CCC or the people involved in the project, strengthening the suspicion that it is yet another ploy to destabilise the opposition.
“Besides the lawyer-client confidentiality issues, is that letter signed? It (letter) is not even signed. I don’t know anything about it (CCC). I cannot waste my time commenting on things I have no knowledge of things that are on social media,” Hara told The NewsHawks.
Zhou, in the Zec letter, put a Vuhera (Buhera) post box office address.
Bulawayo analyst Effie Ncube said the revelations by Hara confirmed opposition fears of state and Zanu PF-sponsored manoeuvres to undermine and frustrate the democratic opposition from fighting for a better life for long-suffering Zimbabweans.
“Well, it was very clear from the beginning that this was a fraudulent exercise that is meant to undermine democratic opposition,” Ncube said.
“It is a state-sponsored exercise so that it keeps the opposition divided, so that it keeps the opposition unable to focus on the mis-governance and on corruption so that the opposition does not spotlight the poverty and unemployment and hunger but keeps fighting for its survival.
“The MDC should take advantage of the gaps and really protect the people’s logo or name, as it were, so that no one takes advantage of it going forward.”
Exiled minister Jonathan Moyo once urged the MDC Alliance to legally register the CCC.
In a recent interview in Bulawayo, Chamisa (Chamisa) all but confirmed that the opposition party was moving towards unveiling a citizen-led movement.
“We are in the process of building a citizen movement, a people’s movement, a citizen alliance across the board. We want an omnibus, a broad church that accommodates everyone, a broad organisation that accommodates everyone so that we are able to deliver change,” Chamisa said in the interview.
“Some are saying it is a new name, no, it’s a new direction. Some are saying are you going to give us a different name , yes, it’s a different force altogether that galvanises all the people of Zimbabwe. A lot is happening; there will be no confusion for the people when the time to decide to vote comes.”
A number of new opposition parties are being launched as the country heads towards the 2023 general elections.
The 2018 elections had a total of 23 presidential candidates.