BY EVANS MATHANDA
A bizarre situation is playing out in Zimbabwe ahead of the general 2023 elections.
The major political parties have picked their candidates for next year’s all-important harmonised election.
From this angle, the most urgent consideration is the internal affairs of the main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
The push for the creation of party structures and the modification of the CCC logo, which features the leader Nelson Chamisa, have drawn the attention of citizens who have been debating the issue.
A different view emerges as soon as one looks outside the political space and considers the state of the Zimbabwean economy.
The behaviour of the political elite contributes to the appearance of politics as usual.
For instance, in the past weeks, pressure has been mounting on the opposition CCC to come clear on its party structures.
Former minister Jonathan Moyo has been critical of the Chamisa-led political party because it lacks structures and a constitution despite having the potential to succeed the current Zanu PF administration as the country’s next government.
Zanu PF, in contrast to CCC, has historically had clear leadership structures, well-defined organisational structures, and conferences and congresses that are held in a ritualistic manner.
Chamisa recently appointed a shadow cabinet, but he refuted rumours that his party had already begun establishing formal structures.
A political party’s structure and operation may be guided by external laws and regulations, such as the constitution, by internal party rules, such as the party constitution, or both.
However, the written party constitutions or internal regulations may be different in practice.
Given the significant functions that political parties now play in democracies, it is crucial to understand how they operate internally.
Aspects of this include the political party’s formulation of policies and overall decision-making process, the participation of members and party groups, and the leadership of the party’s accountability.
Political parties typically have similar organisational setups, with the national leadership committee or the national executive body being key players in the party’s growth.
Typically, daily decisions are made and put into action by the “party government”.
The selection of members for this body determines how the party will operate in the country.
Different political parties have different national executive bodies.
In some, only a small number of party leaders make up the leadership committee, while in others, members of local branches, auxiliary organisations, or representatives from party wings like the women’s wing are included.
In essence, party structures increase public confidence in potential candidates for the next government which the main opposition CCC says it will form.
Consistency and public clarity are essential for any organisation or group looking to the future to boost member confidence.
The CCC party revealed a new logo last week, swapping out its leader Chamisa with a picture of the sun.
Announcing the development, CCC said: “We wish to notify you of our official logos for party and election business.
“The one with a white background and yellow circle at the centre is for party business while the one with the Change Champion in Chief’s image is our election symbol. Vote for Change!!!. The modification follows criticism that the initial design, which included Chamisa’s face, gave the impression of a personalised political party.
Chamisa should have altered the party logo after the elections to clear up any uncertainty before the 2023 general election, but it’s too late now.
When making decisions that directly affect crucial issues like elections, it is important for an organisation or political party to ease pressure, especially on political figures.
Despite that CCC is the political party that can is viable option to replace the ruling Zanu PF party.
Chamisa needs advisors who can help him in decision-making ahead of the 2023 election.
The election period in Zimbabwe is fast approaching.
There is a great deal of economic uncertainty during the time of this election cycle, and many Zimbabweans are worried about the rising cost of living, the nation’s mounting debt, and the prevalent corruption.
Chamisa needs to make political judgments that will not cost him anything in addition to the electoral changes since, despite the difficulty of determining whether he is the best alternative, he appears to be a genuine option for change.
- Evans Mathanda is a journalist and development practitioner who writes in his capacity. For feedback email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0719770038 and Twitter @EvansMathanda19