AS Zimbabwe barrels towards next year’s harmonised elections, Zanu PF is firing from all cylinders winning elections in urban areas and increasing its leads in rural constituencies in a bold statement that analysts say spell doom for the crisis-riddled opposition.
In the past few years, Zanu PF has been thumping the opposition in by-elections, and on the rare occasions that it has lost the gap has been marginal, something that analysts say shows the universal appeal of the ruling party that has been implementing policies that resonate with the masses under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.
A cursory glance at the results of by-elections held over the weekend saw the ruling party winning in Binga Ward 20, 945 votes against CCC’s 546 votes, and also snatching Gweru ward 5 from the opposition after its candidate got 556 votes to the CCC candidate’s 472.
Notably, these wards were both strongholds of the opposition and the victory by Zanu PF shows the party’s making inroads while increasing its lead in rural areas like Mberengwa where the revolutionary party got 726 votes to the CCC’s measly 81 votes.
Zanu PF Midlands provincial chairman Senator Larry Mavima said the win in Gweru urban was a sign that the revolutionary party was moving in the right direction in terms of its campaign strategy ahead of the 2023 bye elections.
“These are just warning shots to the opposition of what to expect come elections next year. They make noise on social media but as the revolutionary party, we are sharpening our campaign strategy and we are heading for a resounding victory come next year,” said Sen Mavima who is also the Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister.
In an interview yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa described the victory as “gratifying”.
“Zanu PF, the party of the permanent Zimbabwe revolution is heartened by the current spate of wins in ward by-election results of Binga and Gweru. Even more gratifying is the swing away of the electorate from the failure-prone CCC in urban jurisdictions.
“The message that President Mnangagwa delivers on prospects of prosperity is gathering traction. Urban voters notice the palpable and tangible changes in the rural strongholds of Zanu-PF. These have been wrought by President EDM and his Second Republic. The urbanites are now similarly clamouring for the economic magic wand of President Mnangagwa,” he said.
Against a backdrop of poor service delivery in urban areas characterised by heaps of uncollected garbage, unplanned settlements, rivulets of sewage, and equally stinking corruption in the town house corridors, observers say it is little wonder the pendulum has shifted in favour of Zanu PF and in particular the indefatigable President Mnangagwa.
“They want him to fumigate the stinking rot of urban decay that is the hallmark of more than two decades of MDC-CCC misrule. As the saying goes: Nothing succeeds like success. The writing on the wall is starkly clear in black and white.
“The national harmonised elections will deliver a landslide for President Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF. By the same token, it will be a whitewash for (Mr Nelson) Chamisa and his crisis-ridden CCC. Ivory tower intrigue is no answer to concrete forward-looking policies underpinned by concrete programmes,” said Ambassador Mutsvangwa.
While the opposition is latching from one blunder to another—President Mnangagwa is delivering on his electoral promises, building schools, roads, and dams, and also creating jobs for the youth. His party Zanu PF has entrenched democratic practices as opposed to the structure-less and one-man-led CCC.
Because of that Cde Mutsvangwa said: “Erstwhile allies are deserting and shifting back to Zanu PF. The media is awash with all damaging exposé. Foreign funders are getting stingy with their slush funds destined for an increasingly quixotic African political misadventure of the post-colonial era of Zimbabwe. Worse, the European fratricidal war in Ukraine has ensured that the sponsors of African mayhem have their hands full.
“It is a truism that Chamisa’s CCC has always been plagued by thinness of non-existent organisational capacity. This vice is now being aggravated by the paucity of funding. While President Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF glory in vote victory, Chamisa and his CCC languish in recurring nightmares of the electoral rout. He spurned away the golden offer of the Official Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. Now he rants against his MP deputies over housing loans they rightly deserve and have duly accepted. No wonder the electorate is meting out due and appropriate punishment,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.