If Chamisa Had Announced Constitution Would He Have Stopped ED From Recalling MPs?
10 October 2023
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By Dorrothy Moyo | ANALYSIS | Title: The CCC Party’s Dilemma: Could Institutionalization Have Prevented MP Recalls?

In the tumultuous world of Zimbabwean politics, the ongoing saga of CCC (Citizens’ Coalition for Change) members being recalled from their parliamentary positions has raised questions about the party’s strategic choices. The prevailing assumption is that had CCC leadership institutionalized and constitutionalized the party, it might have thwarted ZANU PF’s ability to recall its MPs. This analysis delves into the implications of such a move and its historical context.

The backdrop of this dilemma can be traced back to the MDC Alliance, which was abandoned following accusations against Nelson Chamisa, the CCC’s leader, of violating his party’s constitution. Consequently, CCC adopted what it calls “strategic ambiguity” as a political strategy. However, this strategic ambiguity has not shielded the party from criticism and intense scrutiny. Critics argue that it has made the party vulnerable to the ongoing raids by ZANU PF, which have resulted in the recall of fifteen parliamentarians, purportedly on the grounds of unconstitutional election.

This wave of recalls raises concerns about the future of CCC’s leadership. Nonetheless, analysts suggest that there might be a way out of this predicament. One such possibility is CCC walking out of parliament altogether, a dramatic step that would signal their rejection of an electoral process widely condemned by international observers.

A glimpse into Zimbabwe’s political history since its independence in 1980 reveals a pattern of opposition suppression. Opposition members of parliament have faced police visits, which later escalated into violence and even genocide against perceived supporters of the opposition. This violent history has persisted through the years, with instances of violence and military coups used to quell opposition movements, particularly in the lead-up to the 2018 elections.

Under these harsh conditions, it becomes evident that any political movement, whether inside or outside Zimbabwe, is susceptible to sabotage. This raises the sobering realization that change is unlikely to occur through conventional means unless new and innovative approaches to seizing power are explored.

In conclusion, the CCC’s current predicament regarding the recall of its MPs prompts us to reflect on the broader challenges facing opposition politics in Zimbabwe. While institutionalization and constitutionalization might have offered some protection, history suggests that the ruling ZANU PF party has a track record of suppressing opposition, often resorting to violence and sabotage. As Zimbabwe’s political landscape continues to evolve, the pursuit of new methods for achieving political change may become imperative for opposition parties like CCC to effectively challenge the status quo.