Fierce battle over Chamisa face ensues

Chamisa ditched the CCC last month citing alleged infiltration of the party by Zanu PF after self-imposed secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu snatched the party from him.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s main challenger in the August 23 presidential elections Nelson Chamisa might have quit his Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party, but the confusion engulfing the country’s main opposition movement is never far from his doorstep.

Chamisa ditched the CCC last month citing alleged infiltration of the party by Zanu PF after self-imposed secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu snatched the party from him.

Tshabangu’s CCC has reverted to the 2019 MDC structures and appointed Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti and Lynette Karenyi-Kore as acting presidents of the party on a 90-day rotational basis.

Another CCC camp led by Jameson Timba has also gone on a separate journey. As if the chaos were not enough, Tshabangu says they are now moving to the courts to assert their rights to use Chamisa’s face as the party symbol, recover party assets and donated funds.

Chamisa has not yet announced his next move after he left CCC.

But his close allies led by Amos Chibaya and Gift Siziba are mobilising supporters across the country for a new political institution dubbed the “blue movement.”

Tshabangu insisted the CCC logo with Chamisa’s face was party property.

 “We wanted to popularise the party with Chamisa’s face,” Tshabangu said.

“He agreed to it and its CCC trade name. We have to go to congress to pass a resolution to do away with Chamisa’s face as our logo. 

“If he decides to use the logo with his face we will sue him because he was never forced to use his face. “

He added: “It was a voluntary decision. He agreed for us to use his face as the logo.

“He will not use it until we decide to let go.  He knows it. That is why he has not challenged it.”

Tshabangu said they will never allow Chamisa to form another  party.

“We can't allow him to hold people at ransom, that he can just walk away and form another political party,” he said.

“We are going to break the chains of accountability. We are going to break the chains of popularity.

“So all that we are asking from Chamisa is for him to account to the CCC that he was the leader of the CCC and receiving every donation… as long as he remains in this country, the laws of this country will visit him.”

He also said  they still regarded Chamisa as the CCC president “until he accounts for the party assets.”

“We have properties. We have the intellectual property-the trademarks,” he said.

“Those are the properties that we are referring to.

“We have structures, like when we are talking about accountability, President Chamisa needs to account for everything that there were structures.

“The party had membership cards, t-shirts, properties right across the country, “He was the treasurer, the secretary-general.

“He remains the CCC president until he accounts for the party assets.”

Reports emerged last week that Tshabangu had been removed as the interim secretary general after the camp reverted to the 2019 MDC structures.

At the time, Charlton Hwende was the secretary general.

Tshabangu said he was engaging to resolve the matter on his fate as secretary general.

“We are discussing with the acting president, but there were suggestions that perhaps people can co-exist and we can see how far we can go in that regard,” Tshabangu said.

“But I will not pre-empt the discussion that is being initiated by the acting president.

“We started the discussions long back.”

Promise Mkwananzi, the spokerperson for the Timba-led CCC dismissed Tshabangu’s claims against Chamisa.

“Tshabangu is not a member of the CCC.,” Mkwananzi said.  “Nelson Chamisa resigned and didn't take anything with him.

“Every party asset still remains under the custody of the CCC. If he has questions, he should direct them to us."

Chamisa formed the CCC in January 2022 after he lost the MDC Alliance to Douglas Mwonzora.

He has contested the presidential election twice — in 2018 and in August last year and lost with narrow margins to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Chamisa has refused to accept the election results and accused Mnangagwa of rigging.

His erstwhile colleagues say he is responsible for the problems bedelving the opposition because of his alleged dictatorial style of leadership.

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