By Staff Reporter
THERE is internecine strife in the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) party amid claims top official, Charlton Hwende, is planning to impose his preferred candidates to contest the 2023 harmonised elections.
The reportedly well-resourced politician, who has lately been conspicuous by his absence at CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s recent rallies, is said to be fomenting factionalism following a claimed fallout with erstwhile benefactor and principal, Chamisa.
A CCC parliamentarian who confided in NewZimbabwe.com, said Hwende was lining up local government and House of Assembly candidates to wrestle the right to represent CCC in next year’s polls, a development which is threatening a protest vote known in political parlance as Bhora Musango.
Those eyeing legislative seats, includes Hwende’s close confidante, Mutsa Murombedzi, who is a female youth assembly member from Chegutu East constituency.
At the behest of Hwende, she is reportedly positioning herself to contest the Mhondoro-Mubaira parliament seat currently held by Zanu PF’s Freddy Kapuya.
CCC supporters are threatening to not vote for Murombedzi if her candidature sails through.
“Besides, Mutsa Murombedzi is from Chegutu East and is not popular,” said a party insider.
“She has no clout or capacity to stand against the incumbent Zanu PF candidate.
“Hon Hwende is bullying the electorate and this has potential to brew bhora musango (protest vote) against CCC in 2023.”
When contacted for comment, Hwende was evasive, preferring to accuse this journalist of practicing brown envelope journalism.
“Musaite zvema brown envelopes (don’t accept bribes),” Hwende quipped.
Pressed further, the former students’ leader turned transporter, said: (Responding) is to dignify your story; I have no comment you can write what you want.”
Contacted for comment, Murombedzi initially promised to respond to questions sent through her WhatsApp number, but had not done so by the time of publishing. Later, she was not picking subsequent calls to her mobile phone.
CCC leader Chamisa recently sparked a Twitter war after apparently questioning reference to Hwende as CCC secretary general, insisting the party did not have such a position.
Established in January this year, the party has yet to hold an elective congress with crunch general elections due next year.
Its activists have dismissed criticism over the absence of a Constitution, and an organisational structure, saying CCC was a citizens’ movement.
It has also previously been indicated that the leadership that was in place in its former guise as the MDC Alliance would continue to hold their positions on an interim basis.
However, Chamisa questioned reference to Hwende as secretary general, insisting that “we have no such titles in the citizens movement, we are all change champions”.
The comment, made on Twitter, was later deleted but reportedly did not sit well with Hwende who has in recent weeks snubbed Chamisa’s rallies.