Harare (New Ziana) – Strangely, in place of the national anthem, the old Ishe Komborera Africa one was sung at the star rally of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) on Sunday in Harare.
The party was holding the rally, at which CCC leader Nelson Chamisa was billed to be the main speaker, to officially launch its campaign for parliamentary and local government by-elections due next month.
Zimbabwe ditched the old anthem, which South Africa and other nations also used, more than a decade ago in favour of the current one.
But, for some reasons yet to be ascertained, the CCC reverted to the old anthem at the rally in the capital’s Highfield suburb on Sunday.
This was likely going to deepen accusations and suspicions of the party’s foreign allegiances, and its detachment from Zimbabwean interests.
Before its latest mutation to CCC, the party in its various earlier identities was always accused of being a trojan horse for western political and economic interests in Zimbabwe.
It never, for instance, had a name which made reference to the country’s name, as is common among local political parties.
It is widely believed, particularly by the government, that the party was formed and financed at the instance of Western powers to oppose Zimbabwe’s farm re-distribution programme.
This involved the compulsory seizure of excess farmland from whites to re-distribute to the landless majority blacks.
The opposition always denied the government allegations of links to western countries.
Sunday’s rally is meant to drum up support for the CCC’s candidates in the March 26 by-elections to fill vacancies left by incumbents who either died or were recalled by their parties.
Over a hundred seats are up for grabs in the polls.