2022 was a tough year for us: CCC
Twenty twenty-two was a difficult year for the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) as its democratic movement was subjected to a barrage of state attacks, including the stifling of political rights and freedoms.
CCC was founded on January 22 of last year and is led by politician and lawyer Advocate Nelson Chamisa.
Its foundation was spurred by disputes over the use of the MDC Alliance name with the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora, which prompted its formation ahead of the Nomination Court that sat on January 26, ahead of the by-elections.
In an interview on the Breakfast Club hosted by CITE, CCC Deputy National Spokesperson, Gift Ostallos Siziba, admitted 2022 was a tough year for the opposition movement.
“We saw a lot of challenges particularly violence from state-sponsored and the assault on our broad democratic movement. There were attacks on different leaders within the rank and file of CCC, there was assault on our deployees – be it in council or Parliament at the same year,” he said.
“We lost a number of champions in Kwekwe, there was violence in different parts of the country where we were campaigning for the by-elections. We saw a lot of violence in Bulilima and Matopo.”
Despite attempts to weaken the opposition, Siziba stated that the founding of the CCC was ‘good’.
“After the formation, we participated in the by-elections, we had 60 percent out of the contested seats in Parliament. We had a majority in local councils, which was a good show for us because these by-elections were happening in the background of state-sponsored violence, patronage, stifling of political rights and freedoms,” said the deputy spokesperson.
“We were not allowed to hold rallies and more than 18 of our rallies were banned during the period of by-elections. A lot of political prisoners were born out of the campaigns but we emerged victorious. Of course, all this was also happening at the background of economically and financially stifled organisations.”
According to the CCC deputy spokesperson, despite the fact that the Political Finance Act provides help for political parties, they were denied their allocation.
“Nonetheless, citizens came together and funded their own movement leading us to emerge victorious,” Siziba said, adding that this was the first time the opposition won seats that were predominantly controlled by Zanu PF.
“It was a good show for us as a new political baby. We managed to win under difficult circumstances, winning seats that have never been won.”
However, their victory, said the deputy spokesperson, entailed a spike in political violence against its members.
“That’s why we saw people going in and out of prison. There was a total disregard of MPs, attacks on (Nkulumane MP) Kucaca Phulu and (Bulawayo Proportional Representation MP Jasmine Toffa happened because the State was petrified of the capacity of the alternative after a huge dismissal of the movement,” he said.
Siziba also confessed that as a ‘new party,’ CCC had qualms about running in the by-elections.
“(We asked ourselves) how are we going to emerge? We had reservations ourselves at a strategic level that we shouldn’t participate in the by-elections because of that we had surging political violence,” said the CCC deputy spokesperson, adding that the opposition anticipates the same violence as they move forward.