CITIZENS’ Coalition for Change (CCC) president, Nelson Chamisa’s leadership skills, his approach to the opposition’s protracted fight against Zanu-PF and prospects for an electoral win next year are being questioned by party leaders at the highest level, NewZimbabwe.com has learnt.
Chamisa, as happened in 2018, is in 2023 expected to battle it out for presidency against incumbent Emmerson Mnangagwa in what will largely be a two horse race.
His lieutenants, some of whom intimated their misgivings about the youthful politician to NewZimbabwe.com, believe he has not done enough to wrestle power from Zanu-PF.
Chamisa’s ‘dictatorial’ approach, disregard for ‘sober and genuine’ criticism and failure to setup structures that will challenge Zanu-PF’s juggernaut in rural areas especially have been pointed out as some of his flaws.
“The opposition will not win if Chamisa continues like this, that I can assure you,” said the top official on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation.
“As long as we do not change our approach and choose to maintain this soft stance we will not unseat Zanu-PF.
“Chamisa has chosen to make enemies out of people who have been giving the party sound advice, critics who are doing so out of love for the party and desire to see a better Zimbabwe. We cannot honestly come out to speak against him openly, but a lot share these views.”
Chamisa was recently the target of criticism from usually pro-opposition academics and political analysts over his leadership style, lack of structures and failure to operate by a Constitution.
Constitutional expert, Justice Mavedzenge and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono are some of those, regarded as friendly to the CCC cause, who have openly questioned his style this year.
Exiled former Cabinet minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, who for almost four years stood in Chamisa’s corner, has turned into one of his most vocal critics as a result for similar reasons.
“We are definitely going to see a repeat of 2018,” said another.
“No tangible reforms have been implemented and up to now we are being told the party will contest, to what end.
“Chamisa has to be open to advice, not be the alpha and omega as happened when party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere was appointed or when Takudzwa Ngadziore was unofficially communicated as the incoming youth leader despite reservations by the top brass, who include the secretary general (Charlton Hwende) himself.”
Some sections of the new opposition party are already angling for a Tendai Biti takeover if Chamisa fails to steer the ship to victory, while an unexpected turn of events could see Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) chairperson, Peter Mutasa taking over.
Mutasa led the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and pledged allegiance to Chamisa before being ousted by a faction of the association allegedly funded by Zanu-PF.