EXCLUSIVE: Biti, Welsh’s secret bid to engage Chamisa, Tshabangu

Details of crisis meeting held soon after Chamisa bombshell resignation

By Nkosana Dlamini

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) top politicians Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube have launched a bid to persuade Nelson Chamisa to return to his position coupled with equal attempts to pacify party forces – including Sengezo Tshabangu – who have been disgruntled by the former leader’s dictatorial tendencies.

Following Chamisa’s bombshell resignation on Wednesday, the CCC leadership reconstituted under the long-decimated structures of the former MDC Alliance and quickly convened a virtual crisis meeting to chat the way forward.

The decision to hold a virtual meeting, according to sources, was due to that party politicians who form the leadership live in different parts of the country and it was near impossible to hold a physical meeting with the little time that was available on Wednesday just after Chamisa had resigned.

The meeting, which featured Biti and Ncube, resolved to reactivate the leadership that was elected in the 2019 Gweru congress when the party was still known as MDC Alliance.

At the congress, Chamisa was elected as party leader while Biti, Ncube and Lynette Karenyi-Kore were elected as co-vice presidents.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the party resolved to appoint Kore as interim party leader whose mandate was to engage Chamisa and also try and reunite all party forces aggrieved by Chamisa’s imposition of election candidates, unilateral dissolution of party structures to centre all power around himself.

Said the source, “Part of the reasoning was that this women has less tension with Nelson. So, if she is given the task to engage Nelson to come back and address issues raised, she has better prospects as opposed to Biti who has issues with Nelson.

“The second reasoning was that in the interim, they wanted to make the same person who is going to be party leader to be the leader of the party in parliament as opposed to Biti and Ncube, who are not in parliament and are not willing to take up the senatorial seats that are up for grabs either.”

During the meeting, the source further said, the party was divided on whether or not to engage Tshabangu, the self-styled CCC interim secretary general who has ordered several recalls on CCC MPs and councillors citing the need to reverse Chamisa’s alleged imposition of election candidates ahead of last year’s general elections.

“The reasoning that that while he was indeed a manifestation of the disgruntlement that now resides in the party as a result of Chamisa’s unilateral actions, Tshabangu was now way too tainted and was clearly now under Zanu PF control.”

Added the source, “Yesterday’s (Wednesday) meeting was not the first meeting. They had anticipated Chamisa’s resignation. There have been meetings before to try and engage him to abandon his unilateral decisions and unite the party.

“Yesterday’s meeting was a team decision; there was no one left aggrieved.”

The CCC leadership is set to meet again this Sunday to hear feedback from Karenyi-Kore and to chat the way forward.

The meeting appointed Advocate Nqobizitha Mlilo, a South Africa based Zimbabwean lawyer to handle all communication around the current CCC leadership crisis.

Attempts to seek comment from Mlilo on Friday night did not yield any positives as he was unreachable.

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