Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu is now facing the axe from the same opposition party that he snatched from its former leader Nelson Chamisa for allegedly single handedly nominating senators after recalling those elected in August last year.
A press conference scheduled for yesterday in Bulawayo to denounce Tshabangu by his close-allies-now-turned foes was called off at the last minute and rescheduled to this week.
Tshabangu faces a number of charges including what his accusers call opaque leadership style where he is said to have stopped consulting his ‘executive’ on the direction that the party is taking.
They accuse him of now only taking orders from ‘unknown handlers’ in Harare.
Last week, his allies said they were shocked to discover that Tshabangu had nominated himself to the Senate without consulting other members of his executive.
It was established that Tshabangu and his former allies had earlier on agreed on the names of candidates to fill the vacant Senate seats triggered by the recall of CCC members by the self-styled secretary general.
According to a notice by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), Tshabangu has been nominated for Matebeleland North, his home province, alongside Teresa Kabondo and Grace Mumpande.
In Bulawayo, Lillian Mlilo, lawyer and former Member of Parliament Kucaca Phulu, Linda Sibanda, Collet Ndhlovu were named as Senate candidates.
In Manicaland and Masvingo, Maxwell Mdhluli and Sam Chapfudza were named as Senate candidates for the two provinces respectively.
Tshabangu’s allies said they were shocked by the list.
Former Pumula MP Albert Mhlanga speaking on behalf of Tshabangu’s disgruntled inner circle said they were not amused and will confront him.
“Tshabangu was accusing Chamisa of running the party single-handedly, and we thought he would act otherwise, but no,” Mhlanga told The Standard in an interview.
“We are a democratic party which values transparency, and justice. Justice will prevail.
“We will make sure that justice will prevail.
“We cannot allow a single person to continue doing things haphazardly when we are in a party with a constitution and representing a number of people.
“We cannot accept that.”
Tshabangu was not answering his mobile phone despite repeated efforts.
His spokesperson Khalipani Phugeni said he was in church.
Phugeni had earlier on referred The Standard to Mhlanga, confirming what sources had said that he was among the disgruntled members.
Tshabangu stampeded Chamisa out of the CCC that the latter formed in January 2022 claiming he was the interim secretary general.
As the self-styled secretary general, Tshabangu went on to recall a number of CCC legislators, councilors and senators claiming they had ceased to be party members.
He also blocked them from participating in by-elections.
Chamisa was in late January this year forced to quit the party in frustration saying the CCC had been hijacked by the state and its proxies in Zanu-PF.
He has accused Tshabangu of being a Zanu-PF impostor.
There are now three camps in CCC which are the Tshabangu group, those pushing for the return of 2019 structures and another that has continued to pledge its loyalty to Chamisa.
Some MPs such as Fadzai Mahere, Rusty Markham and Daniel Molokele have quit the CCC and Parliament in solidarity with Chamisa.
The CCC has not elected an interim leader after Chamisa’s departure.
Mhlanga said Tshabangu had hijacked the party.
“Tshabangu has put the party firmly in his pocket,” he said.
“As an executive, we don’t know with whom he discussed to the extent that he came to the conclusion to appoint himself as a senator without engaging us.
“If he is still a member of the party, he has an obligation to report to us.
“We will try to look for him, talk to him and if he has left the party, we then see the way forward.”
Mhlanga revealed that all was not well within their camp.
“What he has done is not proper, and something will happen because if you are a party member there are guidelines that you have to follow and he knows it,” he said.
“He removed other people because they were not following the party rules and the axe can as well fall on him the same way it did on others.”
Mhlanga also said plans were afoot to approach the courts to block Tshabangu from assuming the Senate seat.
“He was assisted by the courts and the courts will intervene to deal with cases where some members are disgruntled with the way he is running the party,” he said.
“As an executive we are not happy with him.”
Tshabangu also wants to be given state funding that is due to CCC as per the Political Parties Finance Act.