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2 Zimbabweans Attempting to Contest 2023 Elections Using Popular Chamisa Slogan

FILE - Zimbabwe’s opposition Citizens Coalition for Change members at a campaign rally in Harare, Feb. 2022. (Columbus Mavhunga/VOA)

An outfit believed to be a front for Zimbabwe’s state security agents is claiming that it will contest the forthcoming general elections in Zimbabwe using the name Ngaapinde Hake Mukomana (NHM), a popular slogan of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa.

According to the privately-owned The Standard newspaper, NHM is led by a person identified as Frank Mandipa and its secretary general is John Pindura. The newspaper reports that the two names are believed to be fictitious and their office is located at a building housing retail shops and not political parties.

The newspaper reports that NHM has since approached the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to register the name of the party. ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba and the electoral body’s spokesperson Jasper Mangwana were unreachable for comment.

CCC deputy spokesperson, Ostallos Gift Siziba, is quoted by the newspaper as saying this is an indication that Zanu PF is afraid of CCC and Chamisa.

It is a sign that Zanu PF is desperate. It’s foolish for Zanu PF to think that they can hijack the revolution by using the NHM. NHM is not a trademark of the CCC, but just a philosophical mass mobilisation watchword. The attempt to register a party in the name of our watchword is a sign that CCC is a popular party. Zanu PF lacks intellectual rigour and that is why they are always following us trying to hijack every idea we have. We lead them in terms of ideas. We will not be worried about that anyway. We will always have new ideas.”

Chamisa abandoned the MDC Alliance when it was seized by Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC-T. His CCC defeated both Mwonzora and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF in the March 26 by-elections despite having been formed a few days before the elections.