Ncube: Bright future for opposition despite CCC challenges

The future of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) looks bright, acting president Professor Welshman Ncube has asserted.

The opposition party has been experiencing internal turmoil following the recalls that left the party divided, leading to the resignation of the party leader, Nelson Chamisa.

His exit from the party also saw other Members of Parliament dissociating themselves from CCC, further widening the cracks in the party.

However, Professor Ncube, who will lead the party for three months said that despite the recent occurrences in the opposition, the current conditions in the country present a good environment for the opposition to thrive.

“I think the conditions in the country are such that the future of the opposition is bright and good because you have a ZANU-PF government which is failing in respect of all the indexes you can use to judge the success of a government: failing on the democratic front, failing on the good governance front, failing in the economic sphere, failing in the social service sphere. All you have to do is just go to any hospital in any part of Zimbabwe, and you can see the state of decay in the country,” he said.

“Clearly, in that environment, the electorate will need an alternative, an alternative which can do better in all of these areas: in democratic governance, in economic management, in delivering a better life to all citizens, in ensuring that those services which the government must deliver to the people, such as healthcare, access to water, and education, are readily available to the electorate.”

Professor Ncube said the opposition only needs to go back to the basics that the people care about.

“There can be no doubt that the failures of ZANU-PF create the conditions for an opposition which focuses on the rights of the people, which focuses on the interests of the people, and embraces the things that the people of Zimbabwe yearn for. The people of Zimbabwe yearn for freedom, liberty, and a government which allows them the maximum degree of freedom to self-determine. They yearn for jobs and access to all those things that they need to bring up their children.”

He added, “So, in my view, all we need to do is go back to those things that people care about, and I have no doubt that the people will continue to embrace the opposition. The biggest challenge will always be that we have a ruling party which closes democratic space, and believes that it has a divine right to govern by having led the liberation struggle. It should not be that.”

Meanwhile, he said the opposition will engage in dialogue with the ruling party on issues of national importance.

“In any country, there must always be dialogue. The question must be which forum. There must always be dialogue within the opposition and the ruling party, there must be dialogue in parliament. You have chief whips in parliament who must be talking to each other, and the leader of the house, who is normally the minister of Justice, must be having conversations with the leader of the opposition on the business in parliament.

“You have urban local authorities, 24 or so of them, which are under the collective leadership of CCC councilors. You have a central government which relates to these local authorities through the minister of local government. There must be continuous conversations if democracy is to function. The moment you walk away from conversations when you have to run the country together because CCC is not just an opposition party, it is a governing party to the extent that it governs 24 out of 26 local authorities in this country. So it makes no sense to suggest that you can run these local authorities when central government is controlled by another party without having a conversation with each other.

“So we have all of these challenges that we must confront as a country, as citizens, as compatriots. They must be confronted at the very least within the existing framework of government, which is what we believe in, thus what we have always believed in. Otherwise, we become dysfunctional.”

In addition, Professor Ncube said the leadership is going to engage everyone within the party so that they can re-appreciate the values, principles, and ideologies of the party.

“The mandate that I have been given as acting president for the next 90 days is to try and reach out to everybody, to talk to everyone who considers themselves a member of CCC to recognise that the party has a leadership which was put in place by the owners of that party. We will do everything in our power to talk to everybody, and hopefully, everyone will re-appreciate the values, principles, and the ideology which binds us together. Hopefully, we will all be able to find each other and then speak with one voice.

“We need our caucus to be united in parliament. We need our caucuses in the local government authorities, the ones we control in rural and urban areas, and the ones where we are opposition where ZANU-PF controls in some of the rural districts councils. We need to be working as a cohesive unit and we will do everything in our power to achieve that, we might not succeed but we will not fail for want of trial,” said Professor Ncube. 

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