Sengezo Tshabangu breaks silence after his CCC candidates were defeated by Zanu PF in by-elections

Self-imposed CCC Secretary-General Sengezo Tshabangu

In the aftermath of the parliamentary by-elections held over the weekend, Mr. Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-imposed interim secretary-general of the CCC (Citizens Coalition for Change), expressed his belief that his party could have retained all seats in the constituencies they contested if not for the de-campaigning efforts of their rivals.

The ruling Zanu PF party emerged victorious in six out of the eight seats contested nationwide, while the CCC candidate in Mabvuku was disqualified by the court, resulting in a walkover for Zanu PF. However, the CCC managed to retain two parliamentary seats in Bulawayo, with Mr. Tendayi Nyathi winning the Mzilikazi-Mpopoma constituency and Mr. Charles Moyo securing victory in the Lobengula-Magwegwe constituency.

Mr. Nyathi received 1,632 votes, narrowly surpassing Zanu PF’s Cde Dzingai Kamamba who garnered 1,318 votes. Similarly, Mr. Moyo secured 1,648 votes compared to Cde Wenziwe Dube’s 1,318 votes for the ruling party.

In Cowdray Park, the CCC candidate, Mr. Vusumuzi Chirwa, lost by a margin of 205 votes to Zanu PF’s Cde Arthur Mujeyi, while there were 572 spoilt papers. In Nketa, Mr. Ambrose Sibindi, who contested against Cde Albert Mavunga of Zanu PF, narrowly missed victory by 111 votes, with 324 spoilt votes recorded.

In Bulawayo South, Mr. James Sithole fell short by 478 votes behind the winning candidate, Cde Raj Modi.

Moving to Matabeleland North, the CCC’s Mr. David Nyathi received 1,750 votes, while Zanu PF’s Cde Phathisiwe Machangu secured a significant victory with 6,863 votes in the Lupane East by-election. In Binga North, Ms. Judith Sibanda of the CCC garnered 1,003 votes, whereas Zanu PF’s Cde Muchimba Chineka received 9,862 votes.

In the local government by-elections in Bulawayo, the CCC achieved success, winning six out of the eight seats contested, surpassing Zanu PF’s performance. Additionally, the CCC secured a council seat in the Midlands Province. Zanu PF won two council seats in the Midlands and one in Masvingo Province, bringing their tally to five out of the eleven seats contested in the by-elections.

These by-elections were prompted by Mr. Tshabangu’s controversial recall of CCC legislators, asserting that they had ceased to be members of the party.

Responding to the election results, Mr. Tshabangu acknowledged that some party members had boycotted the polls under the influence of rivals within the party. Despite these challenges, he commended the performance of CCC candidates and highlighted the narrow margins by which they lost, emphasizing the testing circumstances they faced. He also noted that the vote-spoiling and abstention strategy employed by rivals had affected the CCC’s performance in the local authority elections.

“We are encouraged by our performance everywhere else, and we know that better organization of the party will see it rejuvenated to its former vibrancy,” Mr. Tshabangu asserted, expressing optimism for the future.

He revealed that the party had already commenced preparations for an elective congress, marking a crucial step on the road to the 2028 national elections. However, specific details regarding the timing and location of the congress were not provided.

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