By Clayton Shereni: Masvingo Correspondent
A BOMB is ticking for the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in Masvingo Urban, Ward 4, after the national leadership for the party which had come to settle the candidate impasse failed to have one of the candidates withdraw from the race.
A delegation led by the party’s Secretary-General, Chalton Hwende Tuesday went back to Harare with no solid answer for their leader, Nelson Chamisa despite an order to conclude the awkward situation once and for all.
The critical meeting concluded that Thokozile Muchuchuti should withdraw from the race despite her being the first to have her nomination papers signed and filed on January 26.
Sources say the national leadership came not to negotiate, but for Muchuchuti to withdraw and pave way for Aleck Tabe.
Provincial leaders are reportedly backing Muchuchuti who faced the same predicament in 2018 after she was told to step down for Godfrey Kurauone. Kurauone is now based in the US.
However, Tabe’s camp claims their candidate is popular in the ward and has won the ticket through a “democratic” process.
All CCC candidates for the upcoming by-elections, reportedly met Chamisa in Harare, Thursday where they were strategising ahead of the March 26 elections.
It is alleged that Muchuchuti failed to pitch up at the meeting, but her rival, Tabe confirmed to have been part of the meeting.
Tabe told NewZimbabwe.com that he has been endorsed by the people and the party leadership adding any defiance from Muchuchuti will be dealt with by the party.
“I have been confirmed as CCC candidate for Ward 4. Out of all the stakeholder consultative processes done on the ground, I was declared the rightful candidate. If she (Muchuchuti) chooses to defy the party’s position, then the party spokesperson will issue a statement,” Tabe said.
Other party officials also revealed that Muchuchuti is not willing to give in to pressure being mounted on her to withdraw from next month’s by-elections.
Contacted for comment, Muchuchuti said she was not going to step down since the party supporters are telling her not to pave way for Tabe.
“I didn’t attend the meeting in Harare because I was told to step down, but I won’t do that. I will rather go on and contest because it’s not the first time I’m being victimised. In 2018, I won the primary election and was told to do the same, but this time I won’t pave way for someone who is just new in the party,” Muchuchuti said.
Muchuchuti now faces expulsion from the party after she rejected to sign a withdrawal letter that was tabled during Tuesday’s meeting in Masvingo.