Citizens, not politicians must determine Zimbabwe’s destiny: Chamisa

The Citizens Coalition for Change’s (CCC) says the party’s 2022 agenda will be driven by people who have the mandate to wrestle power from Zanu PF.

Formed on January 24, 2022, CCC’s party vision is carved by a need to encourage people – the citizens – to actively participate in political and decision-making processes.

Delivering the party’s agenda for 2022 on Thursday in Harare, interim CCC president, Nelson Chamisa pleaded with people to take action and be involved in civic processes in order to change the status quo.

“Last year’s theme (when CCC was formerly MDC Alliance) was citizens’ convergence, which was a stepping stone to this year’s agenda,” he said.

Chamisa said the amazing action was witnessed in the citizens’ space last year, where they mobilised each other without any instruction from leadership to raise funds for the struggle.

“Now they have picked up from the success of last year and are raising more resources for the 2023 election campaign. It is against this background that we launch 2022 as the year of citizen’s action for change,” declared the CCC leader.

“This means placing citizens at the centre of all actions and programmes. This action is consistent with a citizen’s coalition, where we are taking the politician away from the centre so that citizens determine what politicians must do. A politician must not dictate ideas.”

Chamisa said the agenda was for Zimbabweans to come together, as people cannot remain divided if they wanted a better Zimbabwe.

“There’s a common understanding that in order for us to move together as a country, we need to unite,” he said and noted that Zimbabwe achieved independence after people built a consensus in engaging in a liberation struggle.

“The liberation struggle was a product of a consensus, that democracy was a result of a citizen’s consensus. For that reason, we need to have citizen action, coming together so that we appreciate what needs to be done.”

The party leader explained that the source of governing comes from placing citizens at the centre, where authority was derived from.

“We have to emphasize that what is conveyed by you is in the constitution, not the barrel of gun but the ballot where access to govern comes from. The duty of a gun is to secure the will of people not to violate it,” he said.

Chamisa said CCC’s 2022 Agenda was therefore based on constitutional foundations and was driven by five key pillars.

“The first pillar is we are calling on you citizens to act, to be responsible, to serve, participate, be involved and show you are the author of Zimbabwe’s destiny. Play your part. Action building must come from grassroots and volunteer programmes. Do something in your sphere for change, create networks and development,” he said urging citizens to take an active role in voter education and registration.

“The core activity for this year is to register to vote, citizen action must pivot around voter registration. People often ask, ‘why should we vote if it doesn’t make a difference.’ By doing so you have already surrendered your victory but vote to make a difference. That’s why those who are in power discourage you from voting, they know voting is your voice but take it away so that you are voiceless. Reclaim your vote, register to vote.”

The second pillar was to see more community involvement, Chamisa said.

“We will support community action for change. This must deal with issues of community presence -participate – action champion change in our communities, mobilise, serve, lead and educate at community level to volunteer services. Recruit members. Change has to come from you. Strong communities make strong nations,” he noted.

Chamisa noted that the third pillar was the creation of alternative policies to rejuvenate Zimbabwe.

“Gone are days where we oppose for the sake of it. We are going to launch a Great Zimbabwe Blueprint which will include how we are going to experience a new Zimbabwe. You will see viable alternatives in policies in energy, education, agriculture -where we introduce smart precision agriculture, not stone age tactics such as Pfumbudza,” he said.

The fourth pillar was driven on an agenda for reforms, added the CCC leader.

“We need electoral, constitutional and political reforms in our country which has serious problems with respect to right to vote, providing documentation -(Ian) Smith did better in giving documentation, having a credible voters’ roll and having access to media. Reforms in media are needed,” he said.

Chamisa said the fifth pillar was seeking regional solidarity across Africa.

“We have a global action for change, going to various capitals of our continent, going to SADC to organise, seeking solidarity of the region in mobilising for change. We need solidarity of progressive forces across the world to continue standing with us as we fight for free elections,” he said.

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