BULAWAYO residents have been urged to vote for development by rallying behind the ruling Zanu-PF in the December 9 by-elections and shun the chaos-riddled opposition whose internal ructions have led to the recall of some of its members.
The by-elections are meant to fill the vacancies left following the recall of 15 MPs and councillors by the opposition party Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC).
CCC interim secretary Mr Sengenzo Tshabangu wrote to the Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda, Senate President Cde Mabel Chinomona and Local Government and Public Works Minister Winston Chitando, informing them that the recalled members had ceased to represent the party.
The ruling party on Saturday successfully conducted primary elections to select candidates to contest for the vacant posts ahead of the Nomination Court scheduled to sit tomorrow.
In Bulawayo, former Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi will represent the party in the Bulawayo South Constituency, while Cde Albert Mavhunga will contest for the Nketa constituency. Other candidates who won primaries for the National Assembly seats in Bulawayo are Cde Arthur Mujeyi (Cowdray Park), Cde Menziwe Dube (Lobengula-Magwegwe) and Cde Dzingai Kamamba (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi).
For the local authority seats in Bulawayo the party will be represented by Cdes Sandra Ndebele Sibindi (Ward 20), Sikhanyiso Manyathela (Ward 18) and Makaita Tekere (Ward 21) who were uncontested.
Primary elections were also conducted for wards 1, 6, 9 and 22 with Cdes Josiah Mutangi, Kidwell Mujuru, Lovemore Munyamana and Pride Moyo emerging as the winners respectively.
In Beitbridge West, Matabeleland South, Cde Thusani Ndou, who represented the party in the 2023 harmonised elections, will stand again for the same seat. Cde Phathisiwe Machangi will contest for the Lupane East seat in Matabeleland North.
In Binga North, Matabeleland North, Cde Chineka Muchimba was chosen by consensus as the party’s candidate. In Harare’s Mabvuku-Tafara constituency, Cde Scott Sakupwanya was unopposed.
Zanu-PF politburo member Cde Elifasi Mashaba, who presided over the primaries in Bulawayo, praised the process as a demonstration of internal democracy.
“Our primaries were done according to the principles of the party. The process of primaries is to first get our people who are our members to elect who they think is eligible to represent them. Once the person has been elected and declared a winner, further processing is done in terms of whether there are appeals from other people. So, we are waiting for those who want to make appeals but we are not expecting any. But if there are any, there is an ad-hoc committee which looks into those appeals that are brought before the Politburo for finalisation,” Cde Mashaba said.
He said the party was now focused on ensuring that the candidates who won the primaries successfully submit their papers in the Nomination Court tomorrow.
Cde Mashaba said the ruling party expects to perform better in the coming by-elections while calling for Bulawayo to choose leaders who can advance the development of the city.
“Every election is essential for the progression of the city and the country. We are looking forward to garner all seats that are available. The people of Bulawayo can have fair representation in Parliament and in Government. Representation by the opposition has not been progressive. So it is very important for the people of Bulawayo this time around to vote for development. It’s time for Bulawayo people to rethink,” said Cde Mashaba.
He said the CCC recalls are a testament that the opposition is self centred and has little interest to advance the development agenda of the country.
“The party, which won most seats in Bulawayo is a party with no vision, no leadership, and no people at heart. They just wasted people’s time and they voted for a party which stands for nothing and it is time to correct that position,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Tshabangu yesterday said CCC will not hold primary elections but will field candidates that were initially selected during its selection process prior to the harmonised elections.
“So we are not going to hold primary elections but fielding those candidates that had prevailed during the candidates’ selection process. I’m going to release the list of those candidates tomorrow,” he said.
In an interview with our Harare Bureua yesterday Zanu-PF Political Commissar Cde Mike Binha said the revolutionary party would make fresh inroads in CCC urban strongholds.
“The internecine fights of the fractious CCC formations handed Zanu-PF a propitious chance to win more national assembly seats and thus increase its muscle in Parliament.
“It’s clear that two decades of MDC-CCC urban neglect, feckless maladministration, screaming corruption, and decay are all finally beginning to invite the wrath of the long-suffering urban citizenry at the expense of Nelson Chamisa and his acrimonious cohorts,” said Cde Bimha. Cde Bimha said Zanu PF had been ready for the by-elections before the date had been proclaimed by President Mnangagwa.
“We have been preparing for elections as part of mobilisation strategy. We are always ready for elections. We are confident of reclaiming some seats for Zanu-PF considering the achievement made by the Second Republic” he said.
This preparedness, he said, only served to show the strength within the ruling party’s structures.
“We are always confident and we were even ready before these by-elections were announced and the reason why we are always confident is that as a party we operate through our structures and those structures are strong.
“They are even stronger now because we are just coming from a campaign period,” he said.