Is Nelson Chamisa’s leadership style a threat to Zimbabwe’s opposition politics?


Nelson Chamisa, a charismatic leader in Zimbabwe’s opposition politics, has been facing a storm of criticism over his leadership style within the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

Initially, Chamisa carved out his reputation under the tutelage of the late Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). However, his leadership approach sparked controversy when he took control from Dr. Thokozani Khupe and formed the CCC, pushing aside established party members.

Chamisa’s leadership has often been referred to as a ‘demigod’ approach where he holds exclusive control over decision-making. This has led to allegations of undemocratic practices within the party, such as imposing candidates and failing to conduct transparent internal polls. Consequently, this resulted in confusion and chaos during elections, undermining the credibility and effectiveness of the CCC.

The CCC’s stature as a viable alternative for the electorate has been diminished due to internal divisions and power struggles. The interim secretary general, Sengezo Tshabangu, exacerbated the situation through a series of recalls, further eroding the party’s credibility. 

In addition to this, a group of CCC members in Chinhoyi have legally contested Tshabangu’s interim authority, a move that could have significant implications for the democratic process within the party and Zimbabwe’s political landscape.

Despite calls for a more structured and constitutional approach, Chamisa’s strategy remains nebulous, with rumours of a new party in the pipeline. 

Critics argue that Chamisa must learn from parties like ZANU-PF, known for consistent leadership and adherence to their constitution, to avoid leading movements that are unstable and do not prioritise the people’s needs or development.- BNNBreaking



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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