Tshabangu asserts sole authority to recall CCC members, as he thwarts Jacob Mafume’s dismissal by Chamisa


HARARE – As sheer confusion and unbridled internecine struggles take centre-stage in Zimbabwe’s largest opposition, Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-styled interim secretary-general of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has proclaimed that the prerogative to issue out and effect recalls of CCC members lies only with him.

Sengezo Tshabangu and Nelson Chamisa CCC recalls 2023 and 2024
Sengezo Tshabangu and Nelson Chamisa, locked in a bitter and ugly battle for the control of CCC [Image: File Photo/ZimSphere]

He said that he is the sole party official with the sole authority to recall CCC members from the party. 

Tshabangu made these assertions in a letter (dated 12th January 2024) addressed to Winston Chitando, the Minister of Local Government, Public Works, and National Housing, reiterating that there is no other party official in the CCC with authority to effect party recalls. 

This comes in the wake of reports on Wednesday indicating that Nelson Chamisa, the CCC leader, had fired Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume alongside six other councillors on the basis of alleged allegiance to Sengezo Tshabangu; as well as fomenting chaos within the party. 

However, the contents of the letter by Tshabangu point towards him as the only one with the authority to recall party members. 

“We hereby advise that Sengezo Tshabangu, the Interim Secretary General of the Party is the only officer authorised to effect recalls and to communicate with public bodies for that purpose in terms of our party constitution previously lodged with your office,” part of the letter read. 

“Meanwhile, due to a High Court provisional order in case number HH652/23 the only official with the powers to effect recalls is interdicted from effecting any further recalls pending the finalisation of matters before the High Court where his authority is being challenged.

“For that reason, we reiterate that there is no other party official with the authority to effect recalls. We ask that you have regard to the legal matters pending before the courts and our Constitution before acting on any purported letters of recall and rightly disregard such mischievous efforts.”

Mafume’s expulsion comes barely a month after his contentious re-election, which was saturated by allegations that he had convinced Sengezo Tshabangu to recall then Mayor Lovejoy Chitengu so he could force his way back. 

Mafume is also reported to have demanded that councillors vote for him; his instructions conveying the message that he held the keys to their continued stay at the much-fancied Town House. The allegations against Mafume signalled the end of his role in ‘CCC’.

Mafume was reportedly hurt by Nelson Chamisa's decision not to second him for re-election following August's general elections. He harboured desires for a second term, after finishing off former Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba’s term. 

The other six councillors who have been reportedly fired by Chamisa are Bulawayo's Deputy Mayor Edwin Ndlovu, Mutare Mayor Sophia Gwasira, her deputy Cloud Nengomasha, and two unnamed councillors in Marondera and Harare. 

The CCC is currently facing heightened internal strife, with Sengezo Tshabangu, a former MDC provincial youth chairperson and MDC-N member, dismissing or recalling more CCC MPs and local councillors – a calamitous state of affairs whose origins date back to the first wave of recalls in October 2023. 

And ever since, the CCC has been like a sinking ship as it battles an ugly existential threat; with Tshabangu's conduct since October last year threatening to tear the party into smithereens. 

Tshabangu threatens to effectively wrest all control of the CCC party from the embattled Nelson Chamisa, a situation that has triggered palpable panic within the CCC's top leadership—with Nelson Chamisa skirting the path of offering clear directions and instead hiding under prevarications adorned with scripture citations and endless religious allusions.

The acerbic situation has aggravated political tensions in Zimbabwe, which have been continuously flaring since the controversial harmonized elections in August 2023.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Tshabangu had set up an interim leadership structure that is mobilising members ahead of his party’s national congress to elect a substantive leadership.

Those appointed to leadership roles include Mbuso Siso (national treasurer), Albert Mhlanga (deputy national chairperson), Sikhululekile Moyo (women assembly chairperson) and Nomvula Mguni (national director for elections).

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