Nelson Chamisa (born 2 February 1978[1]) is a Zimbabwean politician and the former President of the Citizens Coalition For Change.[2][3][4] He served as Member of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe for Kuwadzana East, Harare. Chamisa was the MDC Alliance's candidate for president in the 2018 general election, having previously been the leader of the party's youth assembly.[5] He was the Presidential candidate for the Citizens Coalition for Change in the 2023 Zimbabwean Presidential election. He has served as the former chairperson of national youth for the same party as well as the Secretary for Information and Publicity for the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). In 2003, at the age of 25, Chamisa became the youngest Member of Parliament. Chamisa was also the youngest cabinet minister in Government of National Unity of Zimbabwe in 2009.

Nelson Chamisa
President of the Citizens Coalition For Change
Founder of the Citizens Coalition For Change
In office
22 January 2022 – 25 January 2024
Vice PresidentsWelshman Ncube
Tendai Biti
Lynette Karenyi Kore
Preceded byParty founded
President of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance
In office
May 2019 – September 2021
Acting: 14 February 2018 - May 2019
Preceded byParty split
Succeeded byDouglas Mwonzora
President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai
In office
15 February 2018 – 22 April 2018
(disputed with Thokozani Khupe)
Preceded byMorgan Tsvangirai
Succeeded byThokozani Khupe
Minister of Information Communication Technology of Zimbabwe
In office
13 February 2009 – 31 July 2013
PresidentRobert Mugabe
Prime MinisterMorgan Richard Tsvangirai
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySupa Mandiwanzira
Personal details
Born (1978-02-02) 2 February 1978 (age 46)
Fort Victoria, Rhodesia
(now Masvingo, Zimbabwe)
Political partynone
Other political
affiliations
Citizens Coalition for Change (2022–2024)
Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (2019–2021)
Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (2005–2018)
Residence(s)Harare, Zimbabwe
Alma materHarare Polytechnic
University of Zimbabwe
Occupation
  • Politician
  • lawyer
  • theologist
  • activist

Biography edit

He was born in the small town of Masvingo in 1978. Nelson studied at Harare Polytechnic and the University of Zimbabwe.[citation needed]

Chamisa is the former chairperson of the MDC Youth Assembly. He was elected MDC Alliance's spokesman at the Party Congress in June 2006. In April 2011 at the Party's congress in Bulawayo, he was elected as the party's organising secretary, a post that previously belonged to Elias Mudzuri. In Parliament, he was chair of the portfolio committees of Defence and Home Affairs, Public Accounts, Gender and Youth, and Transport and Communications. Chamisa is also a member of the Local Government, Public Works & Urban Development, and the African Caribbean and Pacific Parliament. He is a former secretary-general of the Zimbabwe National Students Union.

In March 2007 he was attacked at Harare International Airport as he attempted to leave the country for Belgium; he was admitted to a hospital with a broken skull. In regards to the current situation in Zimbabwe, he said, "There is no security. There is no protection. All of us are at risk."[6]

On 10 February 2009, Morgan Tsvangirai designated Chamisa for the position of Minister of Information, Communication, and Technology as part of the national unity government.[7] After taking office, he fell into a dispute with Webster Shamu, the Minister of Information and Publicity, regarding which ministry should deal with telecommunications. The Herald reported on 10 April 2009, that President Robert Mugabe had assigned responsibility for telecommunications to the Ministry of Transport, headed by Nicholas Goche.[8] Chamisa and Tsvangirai objected to this decision, saying that Mugabe had no power to unilaterally assign telecommunications to another ministry under the terms of the power-sharing agreement.

Chamisa served as a cabinet minister from February 2009 to July 2013, until the end of the Government of national Unity. He also served as the Movement for Democratic Change's organising secretary. He lost the position of party Secretary-General in the party's 2014 Congress to Douglas Mwonzora. Chamisa has been accused of barring other youth and student leaders from having closer access to party president Tsvangirai, a move allegedly meant to protect his position. After the expulsion of Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, Chamisa's relationship with Morgan Tsvangirai deteriorated; he was apparently not well-liked by Tsvangirai's loyalists. On 16 July 2016 Chamisa was appointed as co-Vice President of the MDC by Tsvangirai to serve alongside Mudzuri and Khupe.

When party leader Morgan Tsvangirai began battling colon cancer, power struggles began to ensue in the party, mainly between the three Vice Presidents Chamisa, Elias Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe. On 14 February 2018, it was announced that Tsvangirai had succumbed to colon cancer in the hospital and the next day, the Party's national council appointed Chamisa acting president for a period of 12 months effectively elbowing Mudzuri and Khupe out. As the new President of the MDC he also took over the role of Leader of the MDC Alliance.

On 30 July 2018, Chamisa lost a disputed election to ZANU PF's Mnangagwa. The election has been widely criticized for lacking credibility and being unfair.[9] Chamisa challenged the election results in Zimbabwe's constitutional court but his challenge was dismissed with cost. After the failure to convince the Constitutional Court, Chamisa questioned the independence of the judiciary and has since promised his supporters a strategy to regain stolen electoral victory.[10]

Chamisa claims ZANU-PF lost elections. His claims are partially backed up by the EU observers and several other observer bodies that reported the elections were not free and fair.[11]

In October 2021, their political party denounced a new attack against its leader, Nelson Chamisa, who came out unscathed after being shot the day before while in his car after a political rally.[12]

He resigned on 27 January 2024 citing government interference that has "contaminated" and "hijacked" the CCC.[13]

Education edit

Chamisa holds a master's in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Zimbabwe, Governance and Development Studies degree from the Stanford University in California USA, bachelor's degree in political science and public administration, and an LLB (Honours) from the University of Zimbabwe. He is a qualified lawyer and has worked for Harare law firm Atherstone and Cook since November 2014. In 2016, he obtained a degree in Pentecostal Theology from Living Waters Theological Seminary of Harare, a seminary affiliated with the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe.[14]

Political beliefs edit

Overall

Chamisa has been characterized as a Christian social conservative[15] and an economic progressive.[16]

Stance on Israel edit

During the run-up to the 2018 elections, Nelson Chamisa embarked on a tour of Israel. His spokesperson and office refused to share the reasons of the visit, saying "It was a private visit, which was undertaken by the president and we expect him in the country anytime from now".[17] Upon his return, he declared that should he win, Zimbabwe would open an embassy in Israel,[18] a decisions which was criticised by the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs of Zimbabwe. [19]

Stance on homosexuality edit

Speaking on the legacy of Robert Mugabe in an interview with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Chamisa said Mugabe's views on homosexuality were positive, saying, "We must be able to respect what God ordained and how we are created as a people, there are a male and a female, there are Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve".[20]

Chamisa in a response to a tweet enquiring about his position on LGBT issues in general Chamisa said "God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. I thank God for the template!"[21]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Nelson Chamisa". Movement for Democratic Change Online. Movement for Democratic Change. Archived from the original on 19 November 2005. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  2. ^ Moyo, Thandekile (28 February 2022). "NORTHERN EXPOSURE OP-ED: Zimbabwe's new political party, Citizens Coalition for Change, sparks fear and violence from Zanu-PF". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Jubilant Citizens Coalition for Change Supporters". Voice Of America Zimbabwe. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  4. ^ AfricaNews (21 February 2022). "Zimbabwe's opposition attracts thousands to first rally under new banner". Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  5. ^ The Harare Times (30 November 2018). "What next for Nelson Chamisa?". The Harare Times.
  6. ^ "Zimbabwe stops activists leaving". BBC Online. 18 March 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2007.
  7. ^ "Zimbabwe: Full Tsvangirai MDC Cabinet List", SW Radio Africa (allAfrica.com), 10 February 2009.
  8. ^ "Mugabe gives ally control of telecoms", Sapa-AFP (IOL), 10 April 2009.
  9. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW". DW.COM. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  10. ^ "What next for Nelson Chamisa?". thehararetimes.com. 30 November 2018. Archived from the original on 5 January 2019.
  11. ^ "OVERVIEW: Zimbabwe election result 'fraudulent, illegal, illegitimate', says opposition chief". News24. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  12. ^ "L'opposition zimbabwéenne dénonce une nouvelle attaque visant son leader". VOA (in French). 20 October 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  13. ^ "Nelson Chamisa: Zimbabwe opposition CCC leader quits 'contaminated' party". 25 January 2024. Retrieved 27 January 2024.
  14. ^ Herald, Chamisa now a pastor, herald.co.zw, USA, 28 November 2016
  15. ^ "Zimbabwe: Zim Elections - CCC Vows to Run Country On Christian Values". New Zimbabwe. 11 August 2023. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  16. ^ Vinga, Alois (2 November 2021). "Zimbabwe: Chamisa Bemoans Zimbabwe's Extreme Poverty Levels". New Zimbabwe. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  17. ^ Ncube, Xolisani (1 July 2018). "Chamisa goes to Israel". The Standard. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  18. ^ "Zimbabwe opposition pledges upgraded ties with Israel if it takes power". The Times of Israel. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Chamisa angers Palestinians – The Sunday News". www.sundaynews.co.zw. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  20. ^ "MDC's Nelson Chamisa speaks on Cde Mugabe's legacy". Youtube.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2020. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Chamisa Adam and Steve". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2 August 2018.

External links edit

Parliament of Zimbabwe
Preceded by Member of the Zimbabwe Parliament from Kuwadzana East
2003-2018
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Position established
Ministry of Information and Communications Technology
2009-2013
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by President of Movement for Democratic Change
2018-present
Incumbent