CITIZENS COALITION for CHANGE (CCC), a new political party in Zimbabwe, has all the signs and symptoms of a sickly baby, right from the day of its birth.
For starters, the new political party, an heir to the MDC Alliance, has been born in an environment with sickening filth.
That is if we go by the state of cities its councillors have been running.
For instance, the once sunshine city of Harare is now a dilapidated eyesore.
Uncollected rubbish, poor drainage, burst sewer pipes, flowing stinking raw sewage and haphazard illegal allocation of stands are the order of the day.
Poor service delivery and unsightly piles of garbage are part of the environment bound to retard the growth of this sickly baby.
And this is what CCC has to sell to the electorate as a record of its service delivery in cities and towns.
The recent handpicking of candidates for by-elections exposed inherent maternal problems for Nelson Chamisa’s new baby.
CCC submitted double candidates in at least two municipal by-elections in Bulawayo.
Evidence of serious cracks within the party’s top echelons was clear as the four candidates had the blessing of different party heavyweights.
One set of candidates had their paperwork signed by the party’s secretary-general, Charlton Hwende.
Co-vice-president Professor Welshman Ncube approved the other set.
The apparent tug-of-war between the top brass of vice-president and secretary-general cannot be doubted.
This is especially so since it is on the Bulawayo political turf where Ncube seems to be seeking to be the powerbroker for that region.
This led the late Morgan Tsvangirai to describe him as a ‘village politician’.
He has never been trusted by key personalities within the CCC since his breakaway from Tsvangirai’s MDC in 2005.
Some even suspect him to be a mole in the party serving the interests of Mthwakazi Republican Party and ZAPU.
These are Matabeleland-based political parties in a region Ncube considers his home ground.
The issue of fielding double candidates was not limited to Bulawayo only.
Masvingo Urban Ward Four had similar problems.
The fragility of this new party, inherited from the days of MDC Alliance, appears incurable.
While Ncube has always been regarded with suspicion, Tendai Biti has been seen as an ambitious cunning lawyer who is a genuine threat to Chamisa.
The former Finance Minister, who Tsvangirai described as an ‘opportunist’, had hoped to steal the opposition limelight when he formed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after being expelled by Tsvangirai from the MDC.
Although this was not to be, he bided his time.
With the formation of the MDC Alliance, Biti as one of the co-vice presidents must have fancied his chances against a leader emerging from university student activism.
The blue-eyed boy of the Americans is always confident of support from that source if the need arises.
He has led delegations to the US Senate to plead with Uncle Sam for the continuation of unilateral illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe — and he has always been given a sympathetic hearing.
That is why we were not surprised when the US, in a very undiplomatic gesture, intervened on behalf of Biti when he was refused asylum by Zambia while fleeing from Zimbabwe.
Another key figure in this fractious party, whose allegiance is questionable, is Job Sikala.
He also once formed his own version of the MDC, which he baptised MDC-99.
The garrulous lawyer is, however, seen more as a political nuisance than a threat to Chamisa’s leadership.
Chamisa is said to be aware of all this.
He is said to have been emboldened by the party’s logo which bears his face.
The initials are also meant to enhance the Chamisa brand in the party.
Although, of course, some say emphasis on the Chamisa cult has left the Ndebeles feeling left out and considered as mere appendages.
All the same, sooner or later, Chamisa is expected to flex his muscles by ridding CCC of the old war horses like Ncube, Biti and Sikala, further stifling the growth of the sickly baby.