By Leopold Munhende, Chief Correspondent
THE Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC)’s rural mobilisation strategy which, for a while, received backlash from Zanu PF has reportedly left ruling party officials in Mashonaland province battling to save their political fortunes.
The strategy, fronted by CCC secretary for rural mobilisation Happymore Chidziva has made significant inroads in the ruling party’s traditional citadel.
It is understood that the CCC has already established village committees which will help its mobilisation drive across the province as it seeks to eat into Zanu PF’s share of the vote at next year’s general election.
Chidziva and co-vice president, Tendai Biti, have reportedly been making frequent trips to the province over the past two months, setting up the structures which have now jolted Zanu PF into action.
Senior officials in the ruling party’s provincial structures have been taken by surprise at how the opposition party has penetrated the province, once thought to be a no-go-area for the opposition.
They are now taking the provincial chair, Kazembe Kazembe, to task over the issue.
The same situation happened when CCC leader, Nelson Chamisa, then MDC Alliance president, visited the province unhindered in 2020 after he received hostile receptions in other provinces.
Sources said the Zanu PF national leadership was gravely concerned with the situation and considering ringing chances to try and save the situation.
CCC deputy spokesperson, Ostalos Siziba, said this was an indication Zanu PF was running scared and had finally realised the opposition party was not confined to urban areas.
“The ruling party is running scared, having realised we are not an urban only political party,” said Siziba.
“The rural folk are now tired of Zanu PF’s corruption and fake promises. They have bought into our policy of development in rural areas and are now expressing themselves.
“We are, however, aware that such developments are what have resulted in violent scenes towards elections in these areas in the past and are attentive to it.”
Kazembe’s leadership, which came about through violent contestations that resulted in some candidates dropping out, has been accused of being weak and prone to opposition onslaught.
“Biti has been to the province six times over the past two months and has been able to set up village committees throughout the province,” said a CCC source.
“They are hard to break up and very useful in mobilisation. Clearly, the opposition has changed its tactics and we could be in for it come next year’s general elections.They are targeting the presidential election and they want to diminish our margin from the last election.
“This is worrisome. What worries us more is that the Kazembe leadership appears too weak to deal with this menace. Previously, this could never happen and so knives are out for the provincial leadership,” another highly placed source said.
“What worsens the situation is the fact that this comes at a time when there are serious divisions in the provincial leadership.”
The good thing is that the national leadership is aware of what’s happening and we could see some changes being made soon.
There is a strong possibility that Kazembe could be moved to the politburo, where he could become a committee member and we would be allowed to re-elect a new chairman.
The same happened with Ziyambi Ziyambi in Mashonaland West. That’s what many are lobbying for here,” the source further said.
Kazembe has a long history of consternation with businessman, Tafadzwa Musarara, over the control of the party in the province.
The two are fighting for the same Mazowe West National Assembly constituency.