CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has said former MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe is free to join the party.
“You can’t stop someone who has come and said they want to be part of CCC. After all, this is a citizen initiative, this belongs to the people, we are working to change the nation for the better, not for CCC, but everyone, so even those in Zanu-PF who want to see change are welcome,” Chamisa said.
Speaking to NewsDay, days after addressing an internal party meeting in Bulawayo attended by Khupe, the opposition leader tried to calm supporters who were jittery over MDC members such as Khupe joining CCC.
Khupe, who was at the centre of decimating the MDC Alliance after recalling Chamisa’s parliamentarians and grabbing assets and funding from the party before being elbowed out by Douglas Mwonzora, has pledged allegiance to Chamisa, but CCC members view her with suspicion.
Wary of the threat posed by those who might be seeking to destroy CCC from within, Chamisa, said while everyone was free to be a member, the party would also define its membership and protect itself.
“Obviously, we will define our membership, we will protect from those who might want to harm the party, but its critical for everyone to understand that we are not about positions, but delivering change that will benefit not only us, but generations to come, this country needs a break, it needs new leadership and a breath of fresh air, this is our focus and not positions,” Chamisa said.
Chamisa said citizens were the guardians and vanguard of the party with the mandate to put people in leadership positions.
Commenting on the recent by-elections, Chamisa said: “Now that the by-elections are over and we have made our political statement, over the next few months, we will be focusing on building our party structures across the country and building a robust leadership machinery that will take us through to the 2023 elections. We urge those who have been elected to carry out their mandates with the seriousness they deserve.”
The CCC leader said it was a misconception that the opposition would traditionally fail to do well in rural areas.
“I know that while we performed well in urban areas, there are concerns over the rural areas. We are going to work hard over the next months to enhance our fortunes countrywide and our performance at the next elections. It is a myth that rural areas belong to Zanu-PF,” Chamisa added.
“We know it is a myth because we have won in various provinces with many rural constituencies before and we are going to win again. We are committed to building a stronger and mutually enriching relationship with citizens in rural areas just as we have established a long-lasting relationship with the urban communities.”
The opposition leader told his supporters that mobilising and building the party was everyone’s responsibility.
“Everyone is a change champion and must be responsible for mobilising at grassroot level, this movement is not about positions, it’s about delivering a new Zimbabwe, one that restores dignity to the people of this country,” Chamisa said.