BY NQOBANI NDLOVU/PRIVILEDGE GUMBODETE
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday declared his new political outfit was “unstoppable” and assured supporters that he was putting in place measures to stop electoral theft.
Chamisa said the newly-branded party had secured a plan to protect the peoples’ vote, copying from Zambia where there was so much active civic participation until Edgar Lungu conceded defeat.
Lungu had earlier claimed the polls were rigged, but Zambians, who had camped on the streets sensing victory for Haikande Hichilema, then opposition leader and now president, were already celebrating.
Lungu had also deployed the military, but he eventually conceded defeat after statistics were produced and broadcast showing that Hichilema had won the majority vote with a landslide.
“Yes, we have a plan in place. We are unstoppable. The future looks very bright, and looks good. It’s a Good Morning effect. The sun is about to rise, and nobody can stop the sun from rising but only God. You can’t stop a sunrise; you may not be happy but the sun is rising, and the sun will shine in this great country,” Chamisa told The Standard last night.
On Friday Chamisa and his deputy, Tendai Biti said the recently formed CCC would not be “cheated” and revealed that “pro-active measures” were in place to prevent anyone from stealing the 2023 elections.
“We won the elections in 2018 and we will win the elections again in 2023. The only difference is that, when we won the election in 2018 we could not secure our victory because of subjective and objective reasons but we have since corrected those,” Chamisa told the SABC in an interview on Friday.
“Issues around what we need to do by ourselves and also the reforms that we still need to be implementing as a country, we are pushing for those.”
Chamisa filed a Constitutional Court application challenging the results in a bid to overturn Mnangagwa’s 50, 8% victory but lost the case. Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who delivered the verdict, said Chamisa failed to provide primary evidence to invalidate the poll result.
Chamisa, who dumped the MDC Alliance brand last week after continuously clashing with MDC- T leader Douglas Mwonzora, said the CCC was fully aware of what it had to do to protect the 2023 vote.
“But more fundamentally we have always won elections as a people’s movement. Mr Mnangagwa is so scared of us, they have tried every trick in the book but we have weathered the storm,” he added.
Critics have in the past accused Chamisa of making empty threats. In December 2019, he said his party was going to remove Mnangagwa from power in the first five months of the New Year. Needless to say, that did not happen.
Speaking on Twitter spaces debate on Friday, corroborated Chamisa’s declaration, saying it did not make sense to continue crying that elections were rigged without taking action to prevent vote fraud.
Biti said it was for that reason that the party had come up with a plan to “safeguard” the people’s vote copying from Zambia’s UPND.
Chamisa formed the CCC on Monday after Mwonzora claimed all MDC symbols.
Three days after the CCC launch, Mwonzora received over ZW$150 million from the government under the Political Parties Finances Act in what critics say was meant to spite Chamisa and oil Mwonzora’s campaign machinery for the upcoming by-elections.
Mwonzora on Friday said his MDC Alliance was now ready to cause an upset in next month’s by-elections.
“We received a report that our chances are bright in the by-elections and we want to say to our detractors that elections are not won on social media, or twitter on Facebook or WhatsApp, we are ready for the real battle, the battle for the hearts and minds of the people of Zimbabwe,” Mwonzora told journalists at a press conference in Harare.
Analyst and director of Research and Advocacy at Ukuthula Trust, Brian Raftopoulos said during a SAPES Trust Policy Dialogue Forum that it was remarkable that Chamisa had survived government’s onslaught with Sadc casting a blind eye.
“It’s remarkable that they have still survived the continuous onslaught of the state because the state has really gone at them through the judiciary, through violence, through attack on their alliances and of course they have had, to date, the support of the region Sadc which has placed the question of sovereignty and liberation fellowship ahead of democratic demands,” Raftopoulos said.