It is false to say that 2023 was not a successful year for the opposition leader Advocate Nelson Chamisa and the party he leads, the Citizen’s Coalition For Change (CCC).

The CCC scored an astounding victory against the ZANU PF regime in the August 2023 elections and the regime was forced to hurriedly announce a fake result which they had to pull down from their pages after figures failed to tally.

Even going by the regime’s cooked figures, the CCC was still able to upset ZANU-PF’s two thirds aspiration, win 33 out of the 34 local authorities. Our calculations also show that the party had the highest vote share since 2000, penetrating areas that had been hitherto no-go areas, signifying the efficacy and effectiveness of the Mugwazo approach.

These milestones also meant that for the first time since the inception of the opposition in Zimbabwe, we were able to expose ZANU-PF barbaric rigging tactics and convince all election observer missions including, for the first time, SADC and AU. Despite the fact that Mnangagwa is defacto on the throne, SADC and AU have not formally endorsed his election sham as a legitimate reflection of the true will of the people of Zimbabwe, a major success indeed.

This is exacerbated by the fact that the very Nelson Chamisa you despise has stood strong and refused to budge to ZANU-PF “carrot or stick”. Chamisa has been principled and strong enough and refused to yield to both ZANU-PF intimidation and trinkets, a powerful milestone in a situation where for an ordinary opposition leader it would have been easier and more safer to capitulate than to stand for what is right. We salute Nelson Chamisa in this regard and urge him to remain vigilant and truthful to the cause of the people of Zimbabwe until final victory.

The opposition is strong and robust as evidenced by the powerful campaign it staged against a limited budget and a ruthless regime intent on stiffling a free and fair election. The victories highlighted above, even going by the official figures point to a strong and well organised political vehicle. This is further confirmed by political scholars in the regime who identify the CCC as one of the strongest and most organised oppositions in Southern Africa. A random comparative sample of vote share percentages of the CCC against several opposition offshoots in the region show that the CCC is always leading. For example, the DA and EFF in South Africa fall abysmally short of the 48% vote share attained by the CCC in Zimbabwe against very difficult and complex variables and other factors compared to South Africa for example media freedom and operating political environment.

The opposition is not on a self destruct button. Instead it is ZANU-PF that are the authors and sponsors of the chaos and “divisions” we have witnessed in the CCC over the last couple of months. ZANU-PF has created implants, proxies and impostors who masquerade as analysts, journalists and disgruntled party Cadres who are used to destabilize the Citizens movement through illegal recalls and others such as Hopewell who are hired to ferment false narratives under the guise of journalism and analysis. It is imperative to state that the true narrative is that ZANU-PF lost the elections and suffers a legitimacy crisis and we ought to work together through political dialogue to establish the path of legitimacy. To say that the opposition lost and is divided or self destructing is a false narrative being created to divert our attention from the real culprit and to try and hoodwink us to look internally rather than at the external legitimacy quagmire. We must refuse to miss the opportunity to hold ZANU-PF accountable for all it’s transgressions including the stolen election in the name of imagined, non-existent internal implosions. While there are internal contradictions normal in any organisation of the nature and magnitude of the CCC, there are no fundamental differences as to the principles and common objectives of the movement as reflected by the cohesion in the organisation’s strategic apex body, namely the Citizen’s National Assembly (CNA), with the internal consensus cascading to the cluster leaders all the way down to our street and village Champions. The party is solid and unequivocal on its endorsement of President Nelson Chamisa’s leadership.

It is also not true that we have done nothing about the rigged elections. We have challenged the election result and rejected the pyrric victory pronounced by Mnangagwa and his cronies. We have instituted political programs on the ground to reject this fraud and we continue to work with SADC and the rest of the international community in rejecting the sham and calling on the restoration of legitimacy through the process of political dialogue leading to a Transitional Authority mandated to conduct a fresh, if not an early, free and fair election that will restore Zimbabwe to legitimacy and legality.

The two million plus supporters of the party cannot be psycophants as suggested by Hopewell. They may be less educated, less exposed but they are certainly not psychpants. They have their own agency and discernment, they’re rational actors who are perfectly capable of making cost-benefit analysis based on their peculiar circumstances and arriving at well reasoned decisions to support and vote for CCC. Those individuals who are have “power greediness” as described by Hopewell, if found out, will be weeded out of the party. We want individuals who have appetite not for power but for the tasks at hand, to assist President Chamisa and the CCC to realise the vision for a new Great Zimbabwe for everyone.

There is no mess that was foreseen and no truth that was told by Hopewell. The real mess he should have forseen and perhaps foretold, which he didn’t is the unprecedented barbarism that was employed by ZANU-PF in its rigging tactics in this election. CCC won the elections and perfomed beyond the expectations of many prophets of doom who projected that Chamisa would not exceed twenty percent in the Presidential election. For far too long, many falsehoods have been perveyed under the cover of journalism and analysis by hired guns who seek to divert CCC from the real issue to focus on internal self defeating causes.

Speaking on unfulfilled promises, I wonder why Chamisa who is not on the throne is held liable to fulfill promises more than Mnangagwa who has been sitting at the helm for two terms now and seeking an illegal third term is not being held to account for the countless promises he has made to the people of Zimbabwe including affrodable and accessible healthcare, free education and robust electricity. There is certainly a paradoxical curiosity in this regard. Indeed it has been a horrible year Hopewell. My only difference with you is that you cannot attribute that horrible year to Chamisa who is not in power as opposed to Mnangagwa and his ZANU-PF who are not just in power but also implicated in several grand schemes of looting and corruption including the hold Mafia exposed by Aljezeera and indeed many others to the severe detriment of the common person.

It is patently false to state that foreign missions do not understand what is happening in Zimbabwe. They fully understand and they have through various platforms including observer Missions and diplomatic statements pronounced their position clearly including refusing to endorse Mnangagwa’s sham, to support his illegitimate and corrupt government and further international isolation.

The party did not and still does not sideline anyone. All leaders are more than welcome to participate and positively contribute towards achieving the change that Zimbabweans expressed on August 23 election. There is noone more equal than the other in CCC. All are equal before the struggle and bear the same scars ans value through their diversity. Some are mature and more experienced, others are adventurous and more energetic; all these attributes must positively complement each other to make the movement stronger and better positioned to achieve it’s objectives. The supporters are wise and alert. They know who their leaders are and they have full confidence. Foreign missions may or may not understand why citizens support the leaders they support, it is neither here nor there. That is the essence of democracy. Their role is to support Zimbabwe achieve the desired democratic milestones to allow Zimbabweans to choose leaders of their choice freely without fear not to dictate which leaders Zimbabweans must support or choose.

CCC is an intergeneration party composed of senior and youthful leaders blending together well to create a unique and effective contingent of leadership. It is foolhardy to suggest that the inclusion or exclusion of a handful “capable leaders” would tilt ZANU-PF’ s determination to steal the election. It is the prerogative of the collective not individuals to achieve this mammoth task and the Citizens in their collective will pursue, recover and restore the people’s victory. Unity is key and remains the cornerstone of the party but it cannot be unity for the sake of unity. It has to be the unity of the like minded, unity of purpose and genuine unity of action and the party strives to maintain and continue to encourage the vitality of unity in wining Zimbabwe for change.

As we enter the new year, the year of our Lord, 2024 let us remain faithful to the Almighty, loyal to the cause and hopeful of a new brighter and greater future for all Zimbabweans.

Promise Mkwananzi