Sources within the CCC have revealed that a fierce debate on whether or not to participate in next year’s elections is raging.
The debate has been ignited by growing perceptions that the stabilising economic environment in the country and the growing acceptance of the ZANU PF government in Western capitals spell doom for the CCC. Furthermore, all indications are that sanctions are dying. To buttress theses perceptions all opinion polls, even before the economy had stabilised, indicate that ZANU PF would win the elections.
This has created problems for the youthful pro-Chamisa faction in the CCC which is aware that, the rival faction, consisting of the old guard intends to exploit the CCC president’s expected defeat to push him out of office. The youthful pro-Chamisa strategist hold the view that boycotting the elections would protect their leader from the circling vultures, save the CCC from the embarrassment of yet another defeat and prepare it to seize opportunities presented by possible future economic hardships. The pro-Chamisa strategists also believe that there is sufficient acceptance that the electoral playing field in Zimbabwe is not level to lend credibility to the use of that perception as a pretext for boycotting the elections. According to them, what is needed is to ensure that this perception is strengthened. The pro-Chamisa strategists also believe that boycotting the elections would rob the post elections government of legitimacy, especially if voter apathy prevails. Their strategy also leaves space for a possible Government of National Unity in which Chamisa would be a principal.
The pro-Chamisa faction believes that this strategy would enable them to preserve the image of the CCC as a viable political force and to get rid of the vultures “circling over their leader”.
The strategy is being fiercely opposed by the old guard which is seeking a change of leadership, post 2023. That faction is godfathered by Tsvangirai era stalwarts who claim to hold the title deeds to the CCC. They believe that Chamisa lacks vision, has dictatorial tendencies and surrounds himself with spineless novices who he can manipulate. They are convinced that the CCC would lose the elections and are preparing narratives that lay the blame for the defeat squarely on Chamisa. They are opposed to a boycott as it would deprive them of that opportunity. They enjoy the support of incumbent and aspiring legislators who are confident of victory in their individual capacities. MPs have substantial benefits. The recent attack on MP perks by members of the pro-Chamisa strategy team was not our of the milk o human kindness, it was in sync with the coming call for them all to forsake their wages and perks for the good leader, by boycotting the elections.
According to the source, the CCC has a rich reservoir of potential leaders who can easily replace Chamisa. Prominent among these talented potential leaders are:-
- Tendai Biti, who has a wealth of experience as former Minister of Finance and a Brenthurst Foundation Election Team Leader. Biti also has powerful international connections that include former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, and President Haikande Hichilema as well as members of the US Congress and British Parliament;
- Amos Chibaya, who has employed his post as National Organising Secretary to build a huge support base;
- Job Sikhala, whose supporters believe has been ordained by prison jus at Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa;
- Fadzai Mahere, whose proximity to Chamisa has given her insights into his weaknesses and also experience on how to run the pa;rty. Her supporters believe that it is time that the CCC was led by a woman as that would harness the powerful female vote; and
- Hopewell Chin’ono, who is said to be a good strategist much greater capabilities that Chamisa. He also enjoys widespread sympathy in most western Capitals and can easily unlock financial diplomatic support.
Diplomats based in the region are observing the debate with interest. Most western countries are encouraging the CCC to participate in the election as do all SADC states.