Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is reportedly mulling withdrawing all of its members from parliament after a faction recalled 15 of them.
Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the interim Secretary-General of the CCC, wrote a letter to the speaker, Jacob Mudenda, on October 3 declaring that the 15 had ceased to be members of the party, which was launched in January 2022.
Mudenda later wrote to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declaring vacancies in the constituencies that Tshabangu identified and asked the body to conduct by-elections in the areas.
Citing a CCC “insider,” ZimLive wrote on October 10 that the party’s leader, Nelson Chamisa, “is ready to withdraw all his party's elected representatives in protest at the latest developments.”
The CCC says Tshabangu is an “imposter.” All the 15 representatives have gone to court seeking an order declaring that Tshabangu has no legal standing to recall them and that they should remain in parliament.
CCC won 103 seats in the August 23-24 election which it says was neither free nor fair. Zanu-PF, in power since 1980, won 176 seats.
One of the recalled lawmakers, Prince Dubeko Sibanda said, according to ZimLive: "On October 1, 2020, they recalled me for ceasing to be a member of the MDC-A, which I won under in 2018. We left it and formed CCC. I won by-elections on March 26, 2022, under CCC. I did so again on in the general elections on August 23, 2023. Today, they recalled us again. It's time for a revolution."
Tshabangu has also written to local government minister saying 17 councillors had also ceased to be CCC members. If the minister agrees with him, the 17 would be expelled from the different councils they were voted in and by-elections staged.
CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said the recalls were illegal.
“They are unlawful and show Zanu PF’s determination to undermine and subvert the will of the people of Zimbabwe. They are raising the stakes and we will not allow them to take this route again. The stakes are already high, they are raising them to another level,” he said, according to NewsDay on October 10.
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