Political analysts have said opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) officials issued contradicting statements on the appointment of a “shadow cabinet” because the party has no structures and because they were caught unaware by the public response.
Party leader, Nelson Chamisa appointed spokespersons in Parliament for different portfolios. The appointees are:
1). Prosper Mutseyami (National Assembly chief whip,
2). Sichelesile Mahlangu (deputy chief whip)
3). Harare East MP Tendai Biti (finance),
4). Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (transport),
5). Charlton Hwende (defence),
6). William Madzimure (industry and commerce),
7). Susan Matsunga (women’s affairs) and
8). Judith Tobaiwa (health and child care),
9). Fani Munengami (primary and secondary education),
10). Happymore Chidziva (youth),
11). Wellington Chikombo (local government),
12). Eric Murai (lands and agriculture),
13). Johnson Matambo (Environment),
14). Murisi Zvizwai (mines),
15). Kucaca Phulu (justice),
16). Prince Dubeko Sibanda (information communication technology),
17). Dickson Tarusenga (energy),
18). Godfrey Koster (caucus secretary)
Following the appointments, Prince Dubeko Sibanda the CCC Binga North MP announced online that he had been appointed as a shadow minister. He said:
Ladies and gentlemen, president Nelson Chamisa has appointed the shadow Cabinet. It will no longer be business as usual.
Interim party deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba denied that CCC party leader Nelson Chamisa had appointed a shadow Cabinet, but insisted that the MPs would be merely spokespersons for particular portfolios in Parliament. He added:
There is no such thing as a shadow cabinet. We are going to announce an alternative government and it won’t just be limited to people who are in Parliament but there will be experts who will help CCC to govern in 2023.
Political analysts described the contradictory statements as evidence that there were disagreements within the opposition, hence the need for party structures. Political analyst Kudakwashe Munemo told NewsDay:
The variation in the responses by members from the same political party reflects the need to take into account contextual realities, constitute a clear structural framework with well-defined roles and responsibilities, and to include those that officially communicate on behalf of the party in order to avoid potential confusion to the audience.
Academic Methuseli Moyo told NewsDay that the CCC is making ad hoc decisions because it does not have structures. He said:
Whatever name they decide to give it, essentially, that is a shadow cabinet. If they had structures, they would not be struggling like this to explain their issues or appointments like they are doing.
Political analyst Effie Ncube also told NewsDay that contradicting statements from the CCC leadership do not necessarily indicate divisions within the party as such. Ncube added:
Instead, I think they were caught off guard by the public response.
The issue of structures has been topical recently with exiled former Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo being among those urging the opposition party to have structures and a constitution.