As by-elections approach in Zimbabwe to fill 15 vacant parliamentary seats, preparations are intensifying among political parties.
Ruling Zanu PF will hold meetings this week to select candidates for the December 9th polls. The party is leaving nothing to chance, according to political commissar Mike Bimba, who stated their goal is to win every seat.
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) caused the vacancies after self-imposed ‘interim’ secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu shockingly recalled 15 of its MPs, claiming they had ceased to be party members. CCC leader Chamisa dismissed Tshabangu as an imposter in a letter to Parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda but the speaker ignored him and went on to expel his MPs.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week proclaimed the by-election date through Statutory Instrument. All eyes will be on hotly contested seats like Mabvuku-Tafara, where Zanu PF ally Pedzisai Sakupwanya aims to avenge his narrow loss.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube also seeks redemption in Cowdray Park, where he was bashed by CCC’s Pashor Sibanda by a wide margin. Nomination of aspirants will take place on November 7th. The recalled politicians represent constituencies in Matabeleland, Bulawayo and Harare.
Meanwhile, preparations are in full swing for Zanu PF’s annual conference starting Wednesday in Gweru. Bimba stated over 3,000 delegates are expected at the Midlands province event. Hotels in the area have been fully booked as party faithful descend on the city.