The ruling ZANU PF party has taken an early advantage in the 2023 elections after winning 53 local council seats uncontested. Opposition parties failed to submit candidates for some wards, allowing ZANU PF to sail through unopposed.
In Bulawayo, ZANU PF was the only party to submit nomination papers for the 10 provincial council seats. The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) also fielded double candidates in places like Pelandaba and Pumula constituencies, resulting in rejected nomination forms.
ZANU PF political commissar Mike Bimha boasted that the party has already taken control of the election before even launching their manifesto. He said ZANU PF managed to submit candidates for all positions.
“We are already leading before the race has started. We will soon launch our manifesto and then hit the campaign trail full throttle,” he declared.
In Matabeleland South, CCC failed to nominate candidates for Gwanda Town Wards 1 and 2 as well as women’s reserved seats. In Insiza, ZANU PF candidates sailed through unopposed in Wards 14, 20 and 21.
Analysts say CCC’s disorganization led to them missing nomination deadlines and submitting wrong forms. Political analyst Teddy Ncube said CCC’s “strategic ambiguity” policy created confusion as some candidates did not know they were nominated until too late.
In Bulawayo, 50 candidates successfully filed papers for 12 National Assembly seats. Nomination officer Innocent Ncube said 18 failed due a lack of funds while others simply did not return their forms on time.
ZEC officials said they had to accept double nominations as all forms were signed by the designated party representatives.
CCC leader Nelson Chamisa blamed “glitches” for failing to field candidates for all available seats, while claiming signatures were forged on some nomination forms.