Zimbabwean ruling party denies involvement in opposition infighting




Chamisa and Mnangagwa
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THE recent implosion of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), which culminated in the resignation of the party’s leader Mr Nelson Chamisa last week, was a result of internecine power struggles by rival factions within the organisation and should not be blamed on ZANU PF, a senior Government official has said.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail yesterday, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said Mr Chamisa’s statement announcing his resignation was riddled with falsehoods meant to apportion blame on outside influences, when, in fact, the party’s collapse was occasioned by internal strife.

“He wants to allege that he is leaving his party because of ZANU PF which is not allowing him to run his party,” said Minister Ziyambi.

“That assertion is akin to a man who abandons his family because the family next door is allegedly making it impossible for him to run his own house.

“It shows that we are dealing with a person who is incapable of leading in times of adversity.

“If you are a leader, you cannot abandon your flock; you make sure you rally behind them and you lead from the front, and not the back.

“But we are dealing with somebody who blames everyone except himself; in fact, he believes that he is the only one who is OK. Everyone else is at fault except him.”

Mr Chamisa’s statement, he said, “blames all his problems on ZANU PF”.

“We are just beneficiaries of their foolishness and not the source of their problems.”

The chaos in the opposition, said Minister Ziyambi, was costing the country dearly through financing by-elections.

“What we have done is, where they have been unable to agree with each other and where they have expelled each other, we have followed due process and allowed by-elections to happen.

“In fact, in my earlier statements, I have said that their foolishness has cost the country a lot of funds in terms of financing the by-elections.”

ZANU PF’s parliamentary majority following last year’s harmonised elections, he added, was sufficient for the party to govern, proving it has no incentive to cause the by-elections.

“We were pretty much happy with the results and we were going to work along the lines of the results that we had, contrary to their view that we are obsessed with a two-thirds majority.

“Our leader indicated that we must respect the will of the people and work with what we have; that is the message that came from His Excellency,” he said.

“He said let’s work with what we got and that is what we were geared to do.

“But fortunately for us, and unfortunately for the economy, they decided to fight among themselves, and who are we to say we don’t want to go for a by-election when the law stipulates that is the procedure to follow?

“We are not in any way interested in a two-thirds majority; we have a sufficient majority in Parliament to ensure that what is required to govern the country happens.”

Mr Chamisa’s attempts to sully the country’s electoral processes were an attempt to clutch at straws following his party’s comprehensive defeat in August last year, he added.

“In his childish cries, he says ZANU PF manipulated the delimitation exercise.

“But you will recall that ZANU PF MPs were at the forefront of pinpointing certain deficiencies in the delimitation report.

“But the way our laws are couched is such that Parliament and the President or political parties do not approve the delimitation process.”

These institutions, he said, were only given the leeway to comment on the report in terms of the law.

“And the comments that were given, even by the President and ZANU PF, were critical of the report.

“And at that particular time, the CCC never gave a comment attacking the delimitation report.

“But now that he has decided to abandon his family, he now says the delimitation exercise was manipulated in favour of ZANU PF, which we deny.”

Minister Ziyambi said Mr Chamisa’s claims that his party was frustrated during election campaigns were unfounded.

“He now complains that ZANU PF wanted to bar his candidates from contesting in Bulawayo.

“But ZANU PF merely followed the processes and argued in court that their people submitted nomination papers out of time and the court ruled that they will allow them to contest.”

He also said claims that there was a “legitimacy crisis” in the country were false.

“We went to an election, the independent electoral body conducted the election, the results were announced and a Government was formed.

“This means there is no legitimacy crisis; actually, things are extremely normal.”

He advised CCC legislators to respect the will of the people and continue with their work in Parliament.

“Our position is we hope that the MPs from CCC will not be like a fly that follows a corpse into the grave.

“We pray that they will do the reasonable thing and wish their former leader well and restructure so that we continue having a vibrant opposition within Parliament.

“We value some of the contribution they give in terms of the debate in the House and we hope that they will respect the will of the people and continue with the mandate that they were given and allow their former leader to depart the political arena.

“I say so because if they follow their leader and resign, the law is very clear on what is going to happen, by-elections will be held.”

Source: Sunday Mail