Ncube denies controlling Tshabangu, blames him for CCC recalls

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) acting president Professor Welshman Ncube has denied claims that he was Sengezo Tshabangu’s handler and responsible for the recalls of party representatives.

There were claims that Ncube and Tendai Biti were the people behind Tshabangu and were using the self-styled secretary general to destroy the party as a way of getting back at the then-party leader Nelson Chamisa.

“The truth of the matter is that I, as an individual, first learned about the first wave of recalls from a friend in the diaspora. They called me and said, ‘Nelson Chamisa has recalled people.’ I said, ‘No, that’s not possible.’ They insisted there was a letter in parliament recalling people. I said, ‘It’s not possible. Give me the names of the people who have been recalled.’ They gave me the names, and I said, ‘Chamisa can’t recall the names of the people you are saying, because some of them are his closest friends and allies. It’s not possible.’ They said there was a letter, and they sent the letter signed by Sengezo Tshabangu.

“I said, ‘But Tshabangu is not the interim SG of CCC.’ I called him asking if he signed it, and he said, ‘Yes, I wrote it.’ I said, ‘Like how? You do this without even telling some of us?’ He said, ‘We knew,’ using a plural pronoun, ‘we knew that you would not approve, but we did it.’

Professor Ncube said the second wave of recalls occurred while he was mourning his late mother. “The people who came to the funeral said to me, ’73 people have been recalled,’ and I said, ‘Really?’ They said, ‘Yes, the letters have gone.’ I again called Tshabangu and said to him, ‘Have you recalled these people?’ He said, ‘No, I haven’t recalled people.’ So, I assured people that I had spoken to Tshabangu, and he says he has not recalled anybody.

“Then when 23 people were recalled, I called him again. I said, ‘But you said you haven’t recalled anybody.’ He said, ‘No, I said I hadn’t recalled 73 people. I didn’t say I hadn’t recalled anybody.’ I said, ‘But surely you should have then said it’s not true that 73 people have been recalled, only 23 people have been recalled.’ So, this couldn’t have been happening if Tshabangu was not his own man. If Tshabangu was controlled by me, and I know for a fact that VP Biti didn’t control Tshabangu, he was much in the dark as I was,” he said.

Prof Ncube said one of his immediate tasks as the acting party leader was to solve the Tshabangu issue.

“The Tshabangu issue is not in the past. The fact that you have pending court cases is not in the past. All of these things are current, and we have a mandate to address them. We are not going to run away from these challenges. We are going to confront them head-on. It is our job as politicians to solve problems, to confront problems, and we hope that we will succeed,” he said.

He added that the opposition party is beset by a lot of challenges which they have to tackle.

“There are fundamental differences in the party. There are differences in respect, out of which we no longer had a forum to address because we had suspended the meetings of the organs of the party as we knew them. We had suspended meetings of the standing committee and the national council. In fact, the national council last met on the 22nd of January 2022. We should not gloat over some of these differences if we are being honest and not deceitful politicians. These differences do arrive in life, politics; they are genuine political and ideological differences.”

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