CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) interim Secretary-General Chalton Hwende has challenged party members to leave the comfort of social media and go on the real ground and campaign for the upcoming general elections.
Zimbabwe holds elections in 2023 for presidential, parliamentary and local ward elections, and the CCC has recently been criticised for lack of organised grassroots structures to base its campaign on. This is despite its huge popularity on Twitter and Facebook, something which Hwende appears uncomfortable with.
Sensing danger, the Kuwadzana MP has urged troops to desist fighting perceived enemies on social, saying this was both draining and distracting. His call comes in the wake of recent cyber fights between CCC activists led by Hopewell Chin’ono on one side and former Zanu-PF bigwigs led by Professor Jonathan Moyo on the other side.
The fights will only benefit Zanu-PF and they appear to be instigated by State security agents, Hwende reckoned.
“(The) 2023 election requires citizens to unite and go on the ground to mobilize and organise fellow citizens,” Hwende advised. “We are spending a lot of time fighting each other and holding spaces to castigate and demoralize each other.”
The call by Hwende comes after one of CCC’s most consistent elections winner, Prince Dubeko Sibanda of Binga, was trolled all weekend by Chin’ono for asserting that he had been approinted a shadow Cabinet member by party leader Nelson Chamisa.
Sibanda, who is the CCC Matebeleland North provincial chairperson, in the end threatened to mete out a clapback against Chin’ono saying he had given him enough rope and would no longer tolerate being criticised unfairly.
Late night, some CCC online platforms attempted to hold prayer sessions for incarcerated party members, but there was few traffic on the platform as most CCC activists opted to flood another platform where Sibanda waa being lambasted.
Hwende worries that the distractions were being sponsored by external forces favouring the ruling party.
“Most of the Twitter wars and conflicts are pushed by CIO ghosts. It’s a trap,” he warned.
To his credit, Hwende has been active on the ground in his constituency, driving a door-to-door campaign programme.
Recently, the CCC has come under the spotlight after UK-based academic Professor Stephen Chan appeared to celebrate that it was his idea for Chamisa to appoint a structured leadership.
Before Chan’s visit, the CCC leader has been resisting calls to appoint a leadership structure, saying doing do would present Zanu-PF with entry points to infiltrate the fledging opposition movement.