Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa suffered a terrible blow yesterday when his preferred candidate for mayor of Harare Elvis Ruzani was beaten by former mayor Jacob Mafume, a clear indication that self-proclaimed interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu is gaining an upper hand within the main opposition party.
Mafume is a former member of Tendai Biti’s People’s Democratic Party, the same party that Tshabangu has been linked to. He is also known to have some allies in the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
Tshabangu has repeatedly stated that he is working with the leadership of the CCC but Biti and Welshman Ncube have distanced themselves from him, which could be a diplomatic stance.
The victory of Mafume, who got 22 votes against 15 for Ruzani, was a clear indication that CCC councillors no longer bowed to Chamisa’s whims as he is reported to have hand-picked Ruzani.
This departure from the past two elections where councillors endorsed Chamisa’s preferred candidate could spill to the National Assembly because of threats for recall by Tshabangu as the courts have endorsed his recalls and the fact that those recalled cannot stand as CCC candidates in any pending by-elections.
Although Tshabangu has fared badly in the by-elections so far held, winning only two out of the nine by-elections, legislators who have not yet been recalled are not likely to sacrifice their seats for Chamisa though they will continue to back him on the social media.
By-elections for six more seats will be held on 3 February.
ZANU-PF now has 144 seats out of the 210 elected seats, more than a two-thirds majority, but the party is still shy of three seats to attain a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly which has 280, with 60 reserved for women and 10 for youths.
Chamisa has caught most of his supporters by surprise because of his silence over the by-elections so far held and those pending as he has not directly publicly commented on them.
Immediately after the 9 December by-elections where ZANU-walked away with seven out of the nine contested seats, Chamisa said: “BEING REFINED IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION…I’m feeling so charged and fired up..His grace is sufficient. Have a blessed week!! “.
Four days later, he thanked his supporters.
“THANK YOU FELLOW CITIZENS for your full and incredible support against all odds. I salute you. They will manufacture lies to confuse and discourage you. They will write articles to discredit, vilify and malign. Will ignore their diatribe and vitriol. All said and done, and after all this, will have the last laugh. You will never regret. God has given us a season and irrevocable manifold grace.”
“FROM SHAME TO FAME…Behold, at that time. I will deal with all who oppressed you; I will save the lame, And gather those who were scattered and put to shame; I will give them for praise, honour and fame in every land where they were put to shame. Zephaniah 3:19 Blessed Sabbath #Godisinit,” he told his followers the following day.
In his last post to date Chamisa turned poetic.
THE POWER OF LOVE, NOT THE LOVE OF POWER…
Where hate destroys, love builds.
Where hate accuses, love excuses, recuses and rescues.
Where hate wounds, love heals.
Where hate divides, love unites.
Where hate turns you to self, love pivots you to others.
Where hate is intoxicates, love is sobers.
Where hate confuses, love clarifies.
Where hate convicts, love acquits.
Where hate imprisons,, love sets free!
Even if you are hated so much, just love anyway..Don’t stop loving!! #OnePeople #Godisinit
One of his followers, Onias Mpakaidze commented: “You are now into poems no more verses.”