Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) could be setting itself up for another potential storm following its resolution to open up its candidate selection pool to both active party politicians and charismatic community actors who could have no party history.
Zimbabwe heads for polls in 2023 with both parliamentary and council seats up for grabs.
The former MDC Alliance party is still haunted by lost opportunities to win seats after two party candidates have been fielded in some constituencies as a result of ruined candidate selection processes.
The new approach is also an ostensible attempt to rid the opposition of the unpopular imposition of candidates by influential leaders.
At a media briefing in Harare Thursday, party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the party’s candidate selection process would be different from previous selection processes.
“President Nelson Chamisa, our change champion in chief, is on record saying that our candidate selection process for 2023 will be a departure from the past.
“All candidates are going to be selected by the communities they wish to represent.
“What we implore the citizens to do is plug in to the community candidate selection process, it’s no longer business as usual where a candidate is forced upon a particular community, people are going to choose for themselves,” said Mahere.
During the run-up up to past polls, political parties often hold primary elections to allow their structures comprising approved members to select candidates to represent them in national elections.
Mahere added, “People are going to lead in terms of the criteria we are doing.
“Some consultations people insist on a person who lives in the community, a person who has integrity, a person who is competent, a person who believes in the transformation agenda.
“So all these things are going to be in the criteria we are going to use but the citizens of the siding because the key guiding philosophy of CCC is that citizens should be at the forefront of all decisions that are made,” said Mahere.
However, the new approach by CCC seeks to usher in non-members into its unprecedented candidate selection process with a high likelihood some communities could settle for popular personalities who may not bear the scars of State brutality inflicted while defending the party in past years.
The system could also have few takers among party loyalists who have toiled to lift the CCC brand and have seen the ruin of party infiltration by opponents.
Reached for further clarity, Mahere said her party was going to outline its new approach in future public engagement processes.
“We are going to roll out the full details at the appropriate time,” she said.