CCC interim leader Ncube says Tshabangu recalls caught him by surprise

BULAWAYO – The recalls of over two dozen Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) lawmakers and over 60 councillors by Sengezo Tshabangu were done without the knowledge of the party’s senior leadership, interim leader Prof Welshman Ncube said on Tuesday.

Tshabangu recalled the elected representatives after imposing himself as interim secretary general, capitalising on the party’s lack of a clear structure and apparently willed on by the Zanu PF Speaker of Parliament, whose party craved a two thirds majority in the National Assembly.

Tshabangu, now installed as a senator for Matabeleland North, recently claimed in an interview that he made the decisions as part of a collective which included Ncube and Tendai Biti, former deputies of Nelson Chamisa who quit the CCC last month saying it has been “contaminated” and “hijacked.”

“The truth of the matter is that I as an individual learnt for the first time about the first wave of recalls from a friend in the diaspora…,” Ncube told CITE in an interview aired Tuesday.

“I read the letter (to parliament) and it was signed by Sengezo Tshabangu. I said but Sengezo Tshabangu is not the interim SG of CCC. I called him and said, ‘Tshabangu, there is letter surely it must be fake? It bears your signature and your name. Did you sign it?’ He said, ‘yes, I wrote it.’ I said, ‘like how? Why would you do something like that without even telling some of us?’ He said, ‘we knew that you would not approve, but we did it.’

“The second phase of recalls happened when we were mourning my late mother. The people who came to the funeral said 73 people had been recalled. I again called Tshabangu and said, ‘have you recalled these people?’ He said, ‘no, I haven’t recalled them.’

“Then, when 23 people were recalled, I call him again and I say, ‘you said to me you haven’t recalled anybody.’ And his answer was, ‘I said I haven’t recalled 73 people, I didn’t say I didn’t recall 23 people.’

“This couldn’t have been happening if Tshabangu was not his own man, if Tshabangu was controlled by me. And I know for a fact that vice president (Tendai) Biti also didn’t control Tshabangu, he was as much in the dark as I was.”

Ncube said suggestions that they supported the recalls, or even actively drew up the names were from people who “love to create scapegoats because we have become deceitful, because we no longer value honesty.”

Chamisa’s shock exit has seen the CCC going back to the 2019 structures when the party was still known as MDC Alliance. Ncube is holding the rotating presidency for 90 days before he hands over to Biti for a similar period and eventually Chikanga MP Karenyi Kore, who has also been named as the party’s leader in parliament.

Ncube said he hadn’t spoken to Chamisa for more than two months.

“These differences to arise in life,” he said. “Some of us believe if you’re fighting the struggle against Zanu PF, a Zanu PF government which you characterise as autocratic, as authoritarian, as having accumulated centred power then we must be the antithesis of this, we must therefore demonstrably be the opposite of Zanu PF. We must do, while in opposition, the things we will be expected to do when we are in government.

“You cannot run an autocratic, an authoritarian and theocratic opposition and then expect sincere, genuine people to believe that once you’re in power you will no longer believe in these things.

“For some of us we remained faithful to those values and principles which required us to be the antithesis of Zanu PF, to believe in democracy, transparency, accountability and making decisions based on debate and let the most persuasive ideas win the day in the structures, forums and organs of a political organisation. The moment you don’t do that you no longer have a political party you actually have a Jim Jones political organisation.

“These are the genuine differences and people should not gloss over them and begin to label people this or that. We differ on these things, let the public judge whether or not we should be holding onto the values that first brought us together in the first place.”

Admitting that the new CCC leadership did not have “100 percent control of the party” as they face opposition from Chamisa loyalists, Ncube said the CCC’s standing committee had given the leaders a mandate to engage the state and Tshabangu “so that we can unconditionally get our party back.”

“In a democratic environment, in a multi-party country the state recognises the organs of the official opposition,” Ncube said. “We need to be able to engage the two so that we can reassert the authority of the party. We might fail, we might succeed, but we hope that we will succeed.”

Chamisa, a popular figure who has led the opposition since 2018, is reportedly weighing forming a new party after declaring that he “wants nothing to do with CCC.”

The post CCC interim leader Ncube says Tshabangu recalls caught him by surprise first appeared on Zimbabwe News Now.

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