By-election: Zanu PF’s electoral triumph sends shockwaves through Zimbabwe

Self-imposed CCC Secretary-General Sengezo Tshabangu

Zanu PF makes significant gains in by-elections, nearing two-thirds majority in Parliament

Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu PF, has secured seven out of the nine vacant National Assembly seats in the recent by-elections, bringing them within striking distance of a two-thirds majority in parliament.

Additionally, the party gained four council seats, three in Bulawayo and one in Masvingo, although the elections were marked by low voter turnout.

The by-elections were called after Sengezo Tshabangu, who identified himself as the interim secretary general of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), recalled MPs and councillors elected in the August 24 elections. Tshabangu claimed that these individuals had ceased to be members of the party. However, the recalled MPs disputed Tshabangu’s legitimacy, labelling him an impostor. They had filed papers to contest in the by-elections, but a court ruling on Friday night ordered their names to be removed from the ballot.

Despite the controversy, two candidates fielded by Tshabangu emerged victorious in the Lobengula-Magwegwe and Mpopoma-Mzilikazi constituencies in Bulawayo. In Bulawayo South, Zanu PF’s Raj Modi secured the seat with 1,608 votes, defeating James Sithole, a CCC candidate aligned with Tshabangu, who received 1,130 votes. In Lobengula-Magwegwe, Tendayi Chitura Nyathi of CCC Tshabangu polled 1,648 votes, surpassing Zanu PF’s Menziwa Dube, who received 1,318 votes. Similarly, the Mpopoma-Mzilikazi seat was won by Charles Moyo (CCC Tshabangu) with 1,632 votes, while Zanu PF’s Karamba Dzingai garnered 1,097 votes.

In Beitbridge West, Thulani Ndou of Zanu PF emerged victorious with a commanding 4,929 votes, leaving his challengers with minimal support. Arthur Mujeyi of Zanu PF also claimed victory in the Cowdray Park seat, securing 1,765 votes, while Vusumuzi Chirwa (CCC Tshabangu) received 1,560 votes. Binga North saw Zanu PF’s Chineka Muchimba declared the winner with an overwhelming 9,882 votes, surpassing Judith Sibanda, a CCC candidate aligned with Tshabangu, who received 1,004 votes. In Lupane East, Zanu PF’s Phathisiwe Machangu garnered 6,863 votes, defeating David Nyathi (CCC Tshabangu) who received 1,750 votes.

In a council by-election in Masvingo, former city mayor Shantiel Chiwara received 585 votes but was unable to defeat Benson Hwata of Zanu PF, who secured 612 votes. Notably, renowned dancer and musician Sandra Ndebele, representing Zanu PF, was elected as Bulawayo Ward 20 councillor with 1,106 votes. She outperformed two CCC candidates, Simbarashe Dube with 782 votes and Michael Gumede with 57 votes.

These by-election results have significantly strengthened Zanu PF’s position in the National Assembly, bringing them closer to a two-thirds majority in parliament. With the party’s increased influence, it remains to be seen how these gains will shape the political landscape and impact future policy decisions in Zimbabwe.

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