Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has continuously been haunted by issues of identity crisis.
These have been exacerbated by greedy, power hungry elements which hold that party at ransom. CCC identity crisis elements have been relayed since September 1999 when the party was formed as a protest party against hyperinflation.
Continuous changes of party name are prevalent within this party. Voters often get confused on which party their candidates will be representing prior to the elections. Maintaining the same party name for more than a decade seems almost impossible for this party. Supporters can only guess for how long their party will maintain the party name they currently have.
The party has changed from being an organisation that represents the workers, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), to a political party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999, before splintering into countless other parties; From MDC to MDC-Tsvangirayi and MDC-Arthur Mutambara in 2005. In 2013 Tendai Biti also broke away to lead a party called MDC Renewal Team. With so many name changes and selfish elements within the opposition party, voting for this party has kept voters engaged in constant puzzle on which party really is the opposition.
CCC is a surrogate of the capitalists and is funded by the west imperial powers with an agenda to effect regime change in Zimbabwe whilst using any means at their disposal. The party has been compromised on which stance to take as it is caught between patriotism and being a puppet of the imperialists. The opposition party has on numerous times been used to organise violent protests. An example is the 2018 Presidential elections where six people died and 35 others got injured.
The main opposition party has often played victim in Zimbabwe politics. The party has on numerous occasions falsely claimed and staged abductions like in the Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marowa and Cecelia Chimbiri saga. The trio later made an about turn and denied ever saying they were abducted. A look into the party’s history proves to us that this party affiliates to lies and violence. In February 2002, an Australian television, Date line, revealed a plot by MDC to get Zimbabwean President assassinated through the help of a Canadian firm. Even after the admittance by Mr Tsvangirayi to be present in the plot, party officials played down the video as it would risk unmasking true character of the party.
In an interview on BBC HardTalk in May 2018, opposition supporters and leadership were left in disbelief when their party leader who had claimed to have talked to former US President Donald Trump, denied ever saying he was promised US$15 billion dollars for the country’s rehabilitation if he was to win the elections. Chamisa admitted to having lied to his supporters about the meeting with Mr Trump. In this interview, he also admitted that his utterances of wanting to withdraw the Chinese national were nonsensical and counterproductive.
Another good example of party inconsistencies is when Tendai Biti once denounced the personalising of opposition party name and logo by the late Morgan Tsvangirayi. Recently Tendai Biti and other CCC party leaders have made a repeat of that which they cried foul about. CCC is an acronym for Chamisa Chete Chete whilst Chamisa’s face is on the party logo.
CCC also suffers from confusion as is witnessed in the recent March 2022 by-elections; Chamisa’s CCC celebrated winning 19 seats out of 28 seats. Truth of the matter is that the opposition party should be worried by this outcome since ZANU PF has managed to gain 2 parliamentary seats and has managed to gain a foothold in the urban local authorities.
Considering the timing of rebranding to CCC a few months before March by-elections, one can only derive a conclusion that the party is aware of the identity crisis within the movement. It is unfortunate though that the crisis lies within the party leadership and not the brand name. This is evident as factionalism between James Gumbi and Wilstaf Sitemere in Masvingo has resulted in clashes reported at provincial level in Masvingo.
These factional fights have been witnessed in Bulawayo wards 9 and 26 where Deputy National Chairman Job Sikhala and Secretary General Charlton Hwende approved Norman Hlabani and Donaldson Mabutho whilst Vice President Prof Welshman Ncube and Siphiwe Ncube approved Mpumelelo Moyo and Bekithemba Nyathi.
CCC is a protest party with confusion and identity crisis in their hands. The voters should be wise enough to allow this party to first find an identity and an ideology before ever considering it as a political party.