Constitutional amendments loom as Zanu PF bashes Tshabangu’s CCC candidates in by-elections


President Emmerson Mnangagwa nears two-thirds majority in Parliament, raising concerns over constitutional amendments

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling party, Zanu PF, is inching closer to securing a two-thirds majority in Parliament, sparking fears that the party may amend Zimbabwe’s constitution to extend Mnangagwa’s stay in office beyond his final term.

Zanu PF fell short of a parliamentary majority during the August elections, winning 136 out of 210 constituencies, while the remaining seats were held by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party.

However, Zanu PF has capitalized on recent by-elections, prompted by recalls initiated by Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the CCC’s Interim Secretary General.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) recently declared the results of the by-elections, further bolstering Zanu PF’s position in Parliament. The party now holds 184 seats, a mere two seats away from the coveted two-thirds majority. Another round of by-elections is scheduled for February 3, triggered by Tshabangu’s recall of six more opposition MPs.

In the previous set of by-elections, Zanu PF emerged victorious in six out of the eight constituencies. Notably, their candidate, Pedzai Sakupwanya, claimed the Mabvuku-Tafara seat uncontested. Meanwhile, Tshabangu’s candidates won in the Lobengula-Magwegwe and Mpopoma-Mzilikazi constituencies.

Tendayi Nyathi, backed by Tshabangu, secured the Lobengula-Magwegwe seat by defeating Zanu PF’s Menziwa Dube, garnering 1,648 votes. In Mpopoma-Mzilikazi, Charles Moyo, the Tshabangu-endorsed candidate, emerged victorious with 1,632 votes.

Zanu PF swept the remaining contested seats, reclaiming victory in Cowdray Park, where Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube had previously faced defeat from Chamisa’s Pashor Raphael Sibanda. The party also secured the Nketa constituency. Businessman Raj Modi, who had lost in August, made a successful comeback, defeating Tshabangu’s James Sithole by a margin of approximately 500 votes.

Zanu PF’s winning streak continued with triumphs in Lupane and Beitbridge West. Thusani Ndou defeated independent candidate Brendan Dube and Zapu’s Thoriso Noyo by a margin of just over 4,500 votes. In Binga North, Chineka Muchimba, Zanu PF’s candidate, eventually clinched the seat, having previously failed to unseat Prince Dubeko Sibanda in August.

The growing dominance of Zanu PF in Parliament has raised concerns about potential constitutional amendments that may prolong President Mnangagwa’s tenure. As the party edges closer to a two-thirds majority, the focus shifts to the upcoming by-elections and their potential impact on Zimbabwe’s political landscape.

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