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Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa leaves “hijacked” CCC party

Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa leaves “hijacked” CCC party
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa addresses a press conference in Harare, Sunday, Aug. 27 2023.   -  
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Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP


Just over two years at the helm of the Citizens Coalition for Change, opposition leader Nelson Chamisa announced on Wednesday (Jan. 25) he was leaving the opposition party.

"[...] inform you, that, with immediate effect, I no longer have anything to do with CCC," a statement read.

"My focus remains fully on Zimbabwe, asserting your victory, honoring the citizens mandate and God’s calling to provide leadership," he added.

In an 13-page statement the former leader of the CCC explains his decision.

He first takes stock of 44 years of Zanu-PF rule in the country. He accuses the ruling party of "entrenching authoritarianism" in Zimbabwe and stealing last year's presidential election.

He specifically lingers over the December 9 by elections.

Those were organized after the Citizens' Coalition for Change (CCC) lost 33 parliamentary seats after an imposter announced in Parliament that they had left the party, resulting in the loss of their seats.

"This person who is unknown to us, now single-handedly wields so much power. He has basically been turned into an organization, courtesy of the Zanu PF, Chamisa wrote.

"The original CCC idea has however been contaminated, bastardized, hijacked by ZANU PF through the abuse of State institutions. CCC has not been aligned to its founding Purpose and Mandate. Further, CCC has now been rendered an extension of and been taken over by ZANU PF. CCC has, to all intents and purposes, been criminally handed over to ZANU PF," the statement further reads.

In his statement he also denounces an "increase of political persecution", poiting for instance at the incarceration without bail and‘conviction’ of lawyer and former MP Hon Job Sikhala, Hon Godfrey Sitholeand together with other political prisoners is a case in point."

What's next?

Nelson Chima has promised to "keep citzens posted on the next step" without mentioning anything clear. 

He however called on "all citizens to rally behind fresh politics, new politics and genuine fresh and credible leaders who want to serve and not to be served."

The 45-year-old opposition leader is known to many as "mukomana" meaning "the young man".

The presidency in the country has been dominated by octogenarians.

A lawyer and church pastor, Chamisa has been arrested several times for his political activities.

In 2007, he was severely beaten and left for dead. He spent five days in hospital after the attack, which was widely blamed on ruling-party thugs.

In 2021 he was the target of what he calls an assassination plot when shots were fired at his convoy. A bullet ripped through the left rear seat of his car where he normally sits.

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