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Prominent academic says Chamisa’s owes explanation to millions who voted for him

Ibbo Mandaza
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Prominent academic and publisher Professor Ibbo Mandaza has called on Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, to provide a detailed explanation to voters about events surrounding last year’s general elections and the subsequent turmoil within his Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party. This comes amid swirling rumors that Chamisa might be aligned with the ruling Zanu-PF.

In a post on X/Twitter, Mandaza stated, “I believe it’s overdue that Chamisa comes clean on the narrative before, during, and after the elections in August 2023. You owe the population – especially the 2 million plus who voted for you – a detailed explanation, to dispel the rumours doing the rounds about your duplicitous conduct, restore confidence in your support base, and/or inform Zimbabweans that you’re no longer in contention. You owe us all that explanation.”

The CCC has faced significant internal strife following the rise of self-appointed secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu, who has recalled elected officials, leading to Chamisa’s resignation. Welshman Ncube, CCC’s interim president, has been vocal in his criticism of Chamisa, accusing him of undermining democratic principles within the party.

Ncube recently spoke on an X space, stopping just short of labeling Chamisa a dictator. He criticized Chamisa for centralizing power and reducing the party to a one-man operation. “When you are in the struggle for democracy, you must be organized democratically yourselves. When you say you are the only leader with authority over everything, you become the dear leader,” said Ncube. He further accused Chamisa of operating without financial oversight and making all decisions unilaterally.

Chamisa, in his resignation, accused Zanu-PF of infiltrating the opposition. Despite mounting a significant challenge against Zanu-PF in the last general elections, CCC has been plagued by internal divisions. Ncube attributes the party’s decline to a lack of political ideology and clear organizational structures.

“In the last parliament, Biti was one of our most effective members of parliament. You might call him an old guard, but he was effective in holding the ruling party accountable. He should go back so that he can continue, and you give me the answer that God has said he should not go back. If you were to write a book about some of these things, it would pass as a book of fiction,” Ncube added.

As CCC continues to grapple with these challenges, the call from figures like Mandaza for Chamisa to clarify his position and actions is growing louder, with many hoping for stability and transparency within the opposition ranks.