Welshman Ncube clears air on controversial Matebeleland tweet

Albert Chavhunduka

On Tuesday night, Proffessor Welshman Ncube of Citizens Converge for Change (CCC) posted a series of tweets that rattled opposition ranks.

He showed a changing tide of voting patterns in Matebeleland which seems to suggest that Zanu PF is gaining strength in Matebeleland.

Many theories arose from his tweets with many suggesting that he was canvassing for CCC to take back Thokozani Khupe.

Review and Mail got in touch with Professor Ncube to seek clarity on what he meant in his tweets.

REVIEW AND MAIL:

In your recent tweets, you’ve been giving brief performance background of the MDC since 2000 pointing out how the statistics have been nose diving since then up to the 2018 elections, while ZANU-PF almost doubling its size. As CCC vice president, what is your party doing now to ensure that they mobilize enough to win and perform well in the province in the upcoming elections?

WELSHMAN NCUBE:

The first thing is of course, we have started a new party which we are saying belongs to all citizens, that each and every citizen who is concerned about the state of our country. Each and every season who thinks we deserve better, each and every citizen who wants to join in unity with others and bring their shoulder to the wheel and we all as citizens work collectively together because the task that we have is a task for all citizens. That in itself is intended to insure that every citizen has a stake in the coalition of citizens, that every citizen has a role to play. That’s the starting point, and we are saying citizens in the community, in townships, in the villages and wherever they are should begin to organise themselves as a coalition of citizens to work together jointly towards a new Zimbabwe. That’s what we are saying and what we are doing. We are handing back the authority to the citizens of this country to take matters into their own hands.

REVIEW AND MAIL:

CCC will be holding its first campaign rally in Bulawayo over the weekend. How important is it for your party to win the province considering how the opposition has performed since 2000?

WELSHMAN NCUBE:

Let me start by saying it is important for the party to win in the by-elections across the country, each and every by-elections matters whether in Bulawayo, Mash-South, Mat-North, Midlands, Harare or everywhere it matters. And of course those on the ground in each province have a responsibility to do the requisite mobilisation that we need to mobilise sufficient votes to ensure that there is a coming together or a convergence of citizens. So the rally in Bulawayo will be no different from the rally in Harare, Gokwe or Kwekwe. It’s all part of firstly introducing the new party to citizens, the president addressing the public, explaining the way forward and therefore calling upon all citizens to join hands with us in this effort.

REVIEW AND MAIL:

Since it’s important for citizens to join hands with you as the CCC, is there a possibility that in the near future we will see you roping in Madam Thokozani Khupe to be part of your movement since it’s known that she has a strong support base in Matebeleland, and perhaps that can propel your party by winning back the province in these by-elections?

WELSHMAN NCUBE

All I can say is that the Citizens Coalition for Change is a new party. It is a party that welcomes all citizens who ascribe to its principles, values and objectives. Whoever understands what we stand for and whichever person who’s a citizen of the country and whichever person is a voter is free to join and to be together with other citizens. People confuse two different things, one the quest for positions in the party and being members of the party.

My understanding is that we are asking everybody to join as a citizen and not as an official. Whoever it is, let’s come together in the first instance as citizens. Positions are not given by leaders, the new philosophy for instance of the party on candidate selection is this- We will not have Members of Parliament will not be leaders in any organ of the party coming from the top. Whoever it is who will assume a leadership position, will have to come from the people. Whoever is to be a councillor, it is the community who give us their leaders.

It is them that give us those whom they want to represent them in councils, it is the community who will give us whoever they want to be their members of parliament in 2023. It is the citizens who will decide who they want to deploy as office holders and in whatever position. So I am pretty comfortable with every citizen coming in because our guiding philosophy is that the citizens will deploy those they wish to deploy as leaders.

 If citizens say for instance, Prof go and work in your branch as chairperson, I will go and work as a branch chairperson. If they say you’re grey-haired, you’re over 60 years and this is for younger people to do the running, sit in the background, it’s all welcome. The mistake people think is that if this one or that one joins CCC they are joining for positions; no one should be joining for positions. People should be joining as part of the struggle. It’s unfortunate that some people see the issue of positions as being above all, some of us don’t even care.

We have been in this thing for too long and we have not seen change. If tomorrow the condition for change be that I have to be only a card carrying member of the party, I will be very happy to be one so that this country is free from ZANU-PF. So there is a great deal of misunderstanding of what the concept we are trying to work with is, let leaders be put forward by communities who are owners of the party. If you do that and you respect that, both in principle and in practice, there should be no reason why we will reject your vote. Every vote will count and it is for people to give leadership positions and not for people to say, so and so is coming to be a leader, it’s not going to happen.

Leaders will emerge from the people and those of us who have been in the thing for too long, who want the misery of the people of Zimbabwe to come to an end are saying, let us have all citizens coming and working together because we need to overwhelm ZANU-PF. If you’re working in you little corners there, you are never going to have the numbers to overwhelm ZANU-PF. The reason I was giving the figures I was giving on Twitter was simply to show that we have people drifting in all sorts of directions when we should actually be converging and working together not worrying about leadership because leadership comes from the people. If we are honest and genuine in that, people will give us leaders, whoever they want.

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