SENGEZO Tshabangu’s crusade, which started as a protest over how the selection of Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates led by Nelson Chamisa was done, is now a fully blown Zanu PF project supported by the state security apparatus.
He no longer has control over it.
Tshabangu is now effectively claiming to be leader of the CCC, saying all the MPs of the party formed in January 2022 are his and those who joined Chamisa’s party after August 23 this year deserve to be recalled, which is a bizarre argument because Chamisa contested the elections.
Critics of Chamisa like former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo are also now parroting the bizarre argument.
“The High Court in Harare has this morning granted CCC and its interim secretary-general, Sengezo Tshabangu leave to execute, pending appeal, the judgment handed down by Justice Never Katiyo in HCH 7543/23 to expunge from the ballot papers the names of the recalled Chamisa party MPs for the 9 December by-elections,” announced Moyo on X on Friday.
“The recalled MPs automatically ceased to be members of CCC, founded on 22 January 2022, when they joined Chamisa’s party formed after the 23/24 August 2023, based on a three-page constitution centred on Chamisa as the only office-bearer with sole power to give or assign tasks to everyone else.”
All this is now the making of Zanu PF morphing into state manoeuvres to take over the opposition CCC in the same manner they did in grabbing the MDC-Alliance using Douglas Mwonzora.
In the High Court case in which the CCC was challenging the jurisdiction of Tshabangu to recall party members, the latter said he was in power because of a flawed transition process from the MDC-Alliance to the CCC.
“On 21st of February (later corrected to January) 2022, when the MDC rebranded itself into CCC. CCC did not come from the blue, it morphed from MDC-A into CCC, so that is where the genesis of everything is. That’s where all these office bearers came from. That is why even Nelson today will say he is the president of the party,” said Nqobani Sithole representing Tshabangu in court.
“If one would want to be sincere, I don’t think there is anyone who has voted him to be the president of CCC in an election within CCC. There is a process that led to that and it is that process that gave birth to all these other office bearers into power . . .This is something new that has popped up just because certain individuals are trying to run away from a certain position.”
Tshabangu has been aided by Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda and the courts to dismantle the opposition. His actions are effectively assisting Zanu PF to get the desired two-thirds majority.
Tshabangu has a varied political career that is shown in his involvement with a number of parties and events. He was once a district chairperson in Matabeleland North during the days of the MDC led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai. He also became a secretary in the same province. From there, he went with Tendai Biti during the split, which saw them forming the People’s Democratic Party.
Last month, he was caught lying that Zanu PF as a party was not involved in the Gukurahundi genocide, yet it is now common cause that the killings were a joint criminal enterprise between senior ruling party and top government leaders as well as security agencies, especially their commanders and leaders.
Zanu PF’s central committee meeting of 31 December 1982 decided to unleash Gukurahundi in Matabeleland and parts of the Midlands in pursuit of a one-party state agenda and narrow ethnic hegemony.
This is well-documented by independent historian Stuart Doran in his groundbreaking book, Kingdom, Power, Glory: Mugabe, Zanu and the Quest for Supremacy, 1960–1987, which is the most comprehensive historiography of Zimbabwe’s formative years and is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the late former president Robert Mugabe’s reign and ambitions in that regard.
Tshabangu, as purported CCC interim secretary-general — which has been dismissed by Chamisa and his supporters as fake — drew brickbats when he said only he and two others, Mbuso Siso and Jabulani Ncube, were the ones empowered to sign nomination papers on 7 November for the parliamentary by-elections of 9 December.