By Wilbert Mukori- Should Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) hold its party congress?
This question has preoccupied the nation for the last two weeks.
Professor Jonathan Moyo has argued the party congress is necessary. He is the former Zanu PF minister and chief strategist and propagandist until he was forced to leave the country in a huff because he was in the losing G40 faction in the November 2017 military coup. He was offered Chamisa advice from his exile fox-hole in Kenya and even offered to train and pay for the training of the party’s elections agents.
Professor has his own axe to grind, nothing would please him more than to see Mnangagwa and his Lactose Zanu PF factions booted out of office. If that was to happen, he will finally return home and may even be rewarded by the Chamisa government. So, on that score alone, one assures his advice is worth considering.
Hopewell Chinono has dismissed the call for CCC congress as a nuisance.
“They are trying to distract you from this with their congress nuisance!” commented Chinono on twitter,
“Inflation is rising, prices are out of control and ordinary people are groaning …”
CCC’s position, as of now at least, is the party will not hold any congress.
“We have no intention to hold Congresses. Our roadmap and path to power has no Congress in it. Congresses belongs to MDC, ZANU and other political formations. What if we are going to hold an Assembly, What if we going to a People’s Convention?” argued CCC deputy spokesperson, Ostallos Siziba.
The party has a “temporary mandate” and is fearful of infiltration from the Zanu PF regime; Siziba explained.
Temporary mandate from whom? When?
The bulk of the CCC leadership are a carryover from the MDC A that contested the 2018 elections with Nelson Chamisa as its presidential candidate. Yes, some of the leaders have remained with Douglas Mwonzora in MDC-T. Judging from the performance of CCC and MDC-T in last month’s by-elections, many of the MDC A members and leaders have joined CCC.
CCC, as a political party, was launched in January 2022 but it is naïve, to say the least, to pretend the party leaders are new faces. Indeed, most of the CCC candidates in the 26 March 2022 by elections were the same individuals who had contested under the MDC A ticket in 2018 and had lost the seat because of the recall.
To resist the call to hold congress in fear of infiltration is just a feeble excuse. Who is to say CCC is not infiltrated to saturation point already from its MDC A days?
The number one reason for holding the party congress is this is the only time the ordinary members have to exercise their right to a meaningful and democratic say in selecting the leaders, in party policies and setting the direction of the party. The ordinary people’s democratic right to a meaningful say in the party trumps all the feeble excuses to deny them that right.
CCC was launched as a citizens’, citizens with an s, party. So far, it is no exaggeration to call it a citizen Chamisa’s personal property because he alone seems to make all the key decisions. He alone has addressed most of the rallies with everyone else playing the supporting role of being seen but not heard!
If CCC is a democratic party that subscribe to the Abraham Lincoln notion of “government of the people, by the people and for the people” then it must also subscribe to giving povo a meaningful say in the governance of the party and, ultimately, of the country.
Political parties that deny their own party members a meaningful say, vote, in the party invariably deny ordinary the people a meaningful vote in national elections too. Parties that rig their own internal elections will blatantly rig national elections too! Democracy, like charity, begins at home!
In Zimbabwe every political party that garners 5% or more of the popular votes during a national election is entitled to aa corresponding cut of the Political Party Finance Act annual budgetary allocation. The Act should (one of these fine days will) be amended to ensure that only those parties with a proven track record of upholding the democratic values and practices, in house and at the national level, get public financial assistance.
It is an outrage that the Zimbabwe taxpayers should be bankrolling the thugs who are rigging elections and terrorizing them.
It would be foolish for the nation to be fighting to end Zanu PF dictatorship and autocracy only to replace it with CCC dictatorship and autocracy!
“CCC has no intention of holding congress!” You cannot be a people’s party, a democratic party, and yet deny the people a meaningful say in the governance of party.