Mliswa says police helping to campaign for CCC by blocking their rallies
Independent legislator Temba Mliswa believes the “abuse” that the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is facing at the hands of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is helping it gain more support and sympathy ahead of elections.
Police on Saturday blocked a CCC rally which was supposed to be held in Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera. This is despite the fact that the party had notified the police.
CCC leader Nelson Chamisa came at the venue twice trying to address his supporters but the law enforcement agents had heavily barricaded the ground until he told them that the rally could not proceed.
The opposition leader was also blocked by the police from holding a rally in Binga on Tuesday (Today).
Mliswa said the police were aiding Chamisa and his outfit to be more popular by persecuting them.
“What police has been doing in blocking opposition rallies creates a danger for the ruling party. While they may see it as a strategy to strangle Nelson Chamisa they have created an impression of the opposition as a victim to be pitied and supported,” he said.
“The opposition has become, not another equal player to be judged on merit and ability but a victim of state power to be judged differently.
“CCC has actually gained mileage through the abuse they have suffered and resultantly as we are going towards elections there are three issues to be wary of. The sympathy vote, protest vote and generational vote.
“The abuse they have suffered has created sympathy for them within the political body as the electorate begins to empathise with what they have and are going through. That can translate into sympathy votes for them.”
The Norton Member of Parliament said the protest vote was about the electorate expressing their discontent over the prevailing socio-economic situation through the ballot.
He added: “It’s about people seeking to try something new, disconsolate over a status quo which they feel is no longer responding to their needs.”
“The protest vote could also be from within the ruling party itself and those who feel they have not benefited after the entrance of the 2nd dispensation.
“The generational gap relates to the demographics of the country’s huge young population both within and outside political parties. The party that is able to accommodate and provide for the young people has an advantage. Already Zanu-PF has a problem in that area.
“There has never been the passing of the baton stick within the party as it relates to age groups. The old guys from the liberation days have simply handed it to each other and continued in power. Resultantly the party has failed to rejuvenate itself.
“It has remained a party of old heroes. That could have been a positive at some point in the past but that narrative is getting past its sell-by date as the electorate becomes younger and more forward looking.”
Mliswa further noted that political parties generally lose power due to “systemic rot that festers first from within and finds outside support. If the generational issue isn’t dealt with in a particular and specific manner it can create problems for the old party.
“We should move past the massaging of youths with languid overtures and promises that don’t translate into effective mechanisms for their socio-economic success. All parties need to look at these youth issues seriously.” Nehanda Radio