The ruling Zanu-PF party secured a significant victory in the weekend’s by-elections, winning six out of eight National Assembly seats in Bulawayo, Binga, Lupane, and Beitbridge. However, the triumph is marred by allegations of strategic recalls and the emergence of a non existent opposition Sengezp Tshabangu aligned Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) party.
Zanu-PF’s success is attributed to the orchestrated recall of members from Nelson Chamisa’s CCC, leading to the formation of a parallel faction named CCC-Sengezo-Tshabangu. The ruling party capitalized on the opposition’s internal strife, accusing the CCC-Sengezo-Tshabangu faction of being a “fake institution” led by the disgraced Sengezo Tshabangu.
Despite the controversy, the ruling party deployed senior members for an aggressive campaign in the run-up to the by-elections. The polls addressed vacancies in eight constituencies following the recall of MPs by Sengezo Tshabangu, the party’s interim secretary-general. Zanu-PF candidate Pedzai Sakupwanya secured an uncontested victory in Mavuku-Tafara Constituency after the High Court nullified the CCC-Sengezo-Tshabangu candidate Kufahakutizwi Febion Munyaradzi’s nomination.
The opposition CCC-Sengezo-Tshabangu recalled 15 legislators from Parliament, contributing to Zanu-PF’s electoral gains. Low voter turnout in some constituencies and wards was noted, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission attributing this to the typical trend in by-elections.
Zanu-PF celebrated reclaiming seats previously won by CCC-Sengezo-Tshabangu in the August harmonized elections. Notable victories include Phathisiwe Machangu in Lupane East, Muchimba Chineka in Binga North, and Thusani Ndou in Beitbridge West. Former Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi regained the Bulawayo South constituency.
Despite the controversy surrounding the elections, Zanu-PF’s political commissar Mike Bimha expressed confidence, stating that the electoral victory demonstrates public appreciation for the government’s work. He anticipated further success in the upcoming February by-elections, attributing the victory to the party’s organizational structures.
Zanu-PF Secretary-General Dr. Obert Mpofu praised party supporters, claiming Zanu-PF as the only party capable of addressing developmental issues, while opposition parties, particularly CCC-Sengezo-Tshabangu, were labeled as mere spoilers. Dr. Mpofu asserted that attempts to dislodge Zanu-PF have left the opposition in disarray and chaos.
Albert Mavunga, the Nketa constituency winner, expressed elation and acknowledged leveraging the opposition’s chaos in Parliament for a winning message. He pledged to represent the people effectively, emphasizing the need for leaders who enact transformative laws.
As Zanu-PF celebrates its by-election victories, the political landscape remains fraught with controversy and opposition discord, setting the stage for a dynamic and unpredictable political future.- Agencies