CCC’s lack of a party constitution and established structures under the guise of “strategic ambiguity” is costing Zimbabweans US$5,3 million from the fiscus to run the December 9 by-elections, which were necessitated by recalls from the party’s interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu.
The opposition has been pursuing the strategic ambiguity approach to politics, ostensibly to keep its cards close to its chest, but this is now not only costing the CCC but the nation at large.
The party has been torn apart by the dictatorial tendencies of its leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa.
Commenting on the issue in his weekly column published in our sister publication, The Sunday Mail, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said the fissures in CCC were detrimental to Zimbabwe’s democracy.
“The factional degeneration of the opposition and its disorganisation crisis renders volatility to our national democracy. The structureless feature of the CCC has seen the recalling of Members of Parliament (MPs) and councillors.
“The CCC veld fire recalls have constitutionally compelled the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to call for by-elections to fill vacant seats.
“The recalls were effected hardly less than three months after the harmonised election,” he said.
The minister said the US$5,3 million which will be spent by ZEC on the by-elections was an unplanned cost to taxpayers, something which could have been avoided.
“This implies an unplanned election cost.
“Their structureless political child’s play, is costing the fiscus. Consequently, the ordinary taxpayer is now paying a heavy price for the factional wars of the CCC.
“With the unrelenting recall purge, Zimbabweans will be in a permanent election mode,” he said.
Minister Muswere said, going forward, there was need for legislation to govern the formation of political parties as well as layout prerequisites.
“Meanwhile, ZEC and Parliament have an obligation to act constitutionally if more recalls come. Clearly, our democracy is under the threat of the strategic ambiguity pandemic.
“This crisis to our democracy, through the transplantation of CCC conflicts to our body-politic, must be curtailed by a strong legislative framework for benchmarking what should constitute a political party in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Dr Muswere also called out the opposition for always blaming their inadequacies on the ruling Zanu PF.
This, he said, was a demonstration of political immaturity.
“It is common cause that the opposition has traditionally attributed its conflicts to ZANU PF, and after their internal resolution, those reconciled back cease to be labelled as ZANU PF functionaries.
“One wonders why ZANU PF would engage in such unprofitable political endeavours over nation-building,” said the minister.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s vice chairperson, Ambassador Rodney Kiwa, told The Herald yesterday that although the electoral body was apolitical, it remained a “fact” that the conducting of by-elections barely three months after the August harmonised elections would strain the national purse.
“We are bound by the Constitution, once we are informed by the speaker of Parliament that there is a vacancy, we have no choice but to run the by-election.
“Of course, it costs a lot of money because right now we have had to ask for a budget of US$5,3 million from the fiscus and that is not small money at all.
“As Zec we cannot comment politically or otherwise, but that it’s a cost to the fiscus, it’s a fact,” he said.
Political analyst Dr Hamadziripi Dube said the CCC was showing gross hypocrisy as their disorganisation was “wasting Government funds” which could have been diverted elsewhere.
“Chamisa’s mismanagement of this CCC political party has led to wasted and diverted use of Government funds.
“They are sucking Government funds indirectly and failing to abide by their so-called democracy and non-evidenced constitution’s availability.
“This political party needs to have a constitution and a structure to avoid so many misunderstandings differences which will then cost the tax payer’s money,” he said.
Another political commentator and lecturer, Dr Tongai Danha, said the opposition was now exhibiting sheer self-centredness and no interest in aiding the country’s development trajectory.
“In political economies, the efficient use of taxpayers’ funds is of paramount importance.
“Disorganisation within a political institution, such as the CCC in this case, can indeed lead to wastage of public resources. Indeed, the recalls by CCC which have necessitated the December 9 by-elections will lead to unnecessary spending and potential wastage of taxpayers’ money.
“Recalls and subsequent by-elections can be costly, both in terms of financial resources and administrative efforts,” he said.