Zimbabwe’s popular opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa. Source: Global Information Network - Photo: 2024

Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Quits, Blames Election Fraud

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK | 29 January 2024 (IDN) — Zimbabwe’s popular opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, has resigned from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), saying his party had been “contaminated” and “hijacked” by an imposter who fraudulently removed dozens of his party members and councilors without the party’s consent.

“I will have nothing to do with sewer politics,” he declared. “The original CCC idea has been contaminated, bastardized, hijacked by ZANU PF through the abuse of State institutions.

“Further, CCC has now been rendered an extension of and been taken over by ZANU PF. CCC has, to all intents and purposes, been criminally handed over to ZANU PF,” he claimed in a 13-page written statement.

Chamisa, 45, was the main rival of President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the 2018 and 2023 disputed elections. After the last poll, he accused Mnangagwa of ZANU-PF of decimating his party opposition by fraudulent means.

In last year’s voting, Chamisa’s party won all major cities and towns and enough parliamentary seats to deny ZANU-PF a two thirds majority.

That’s when a party hack stepped in, claiming to be the party’s secretary-general. He began removing elected officials with support from parliamentary authorities, the government and the courts. According to Chamisa, his party didn’t even have a position of secretary-general and he described the man, Sengezo Tshabangu, as an imposter and fraudster.

Chamisa told the speaker to ignore Tshabangu’s claims but it was Chamisa who was ignored and the positions were promptly made vacant in the cited constituencies.

The recalled MPs turned to the courts to challenge their removal but President Mnangagwa got there first, announcing by-elections in the affected constituencies before the MPs hearings.

This was proof, according to the CCC, that Mnangagwa was confident the judges would go his way—which they did. The courts threw out the challenge and a subsequent appeal on legal technicalities.


Tshabangu then began to claim more scalps—dismissing or recalling more CCC MPs and local council members. While unavailable for interviews with international media, Tshabangu told local media that he took over the post on an interim basis after Chamisa failed to create party positions.

Chamisa has been unsuccessful in stopping the recalls of elected MPs and councilors.

Earlier this year, Zimbabwe’s parliament barred criticism of the government ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled in August.

CCC spokesperson and lawyer, Fadzayi Mahere, described the law as “dangerous” and said it aimed at closing the democratic space ahead of elections.

“ZANU-PF has reduced our great nation into an outpost of tyranny,” Mahere told Reuters. [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Zimbabwe’s popular opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa. Source: Global Information Network

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate.

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