Zimbabwe’s New Opposition Party Faces the Same Old Problems

Zimbabwe’s New Opposition Party Faces the Same Old Problems
Supporters of Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, attend a rally in Harare, Feb. 20, 2022 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa—In late January, at the Bronte Hotel—a favorite haunt of foreign correspondents in Harare—a brand-new Zimbabwean opposition party was officially launched.

Just three months later, that party, known as the Citizens Coalition for Change or CCC, was celebrating what looked to be a triumphant start. In a round of by-elections late last month, its candidates won 19 of the 28 parliamentary races and 61 percent of the local council seats that were up for grabs.

This was proof, insisted party leader Nelson Chamisa in a press conference shortly after the results were announced, that the newcomers, who were hard to miss in their bright yellow regalia, would pose a real challenge to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF, in next year’s presidential elections.

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