Zanu PF romps to victory, cements dominance Ambassador Rodney Kiwa

Blessings Chidakwa and Nqobile Tshili

ZANU PF cemented its dominance in national politics by winning weekend by-elections, capitalising on the squabbles that are tearing the country’s opposition parties.

In Parliament, the ruling party now has 144 out of 210 constituencies elected under first-past-the-post vote following resounding victory in the by-elections held last Saturday.

During the peaceful August harmonised elections Zanu PF bagged 136 of the 210 constituencies, before taking Gutu West in a by-election and seven during last Saturday’s by-elections.

The ruling party now has 184 legislators (144  voted, 33 proportional representation women and seven youth quota) out of 280.

Analysts yesterday said the Zanu PF victory was written all over for both National Assembly and council seats as it merely capitalised on the serious confusion, infighting and divisions rocking the faction-torn CCC party.

Zanu PF entered the weekend’s race with an early lead as Pedzisai Sakupwanya took the Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency unopposed as the candidature of CCC’s member Kufahakutizwi Febion Munyaradzi had been set aside by the High Court.

Out of the eight other National Assembly seats contested Zanu PF clinched six, namely Binga North (Chineka Muchimba), Beitbridge West (Thusani Ndou), Bulawayo South (Rajeshkumari Modi), Cowdray Park (Arthur Mujeyi), Lupane East (Phathisiwe Machangu) and Nketa (Albert Tawanda Mavunga).

CCC only managed two seats, Lobengula-Magwegwe Constituency (Tendayi Nyathi Chitura) and Mpopoma-Mzilikazi (Charles Moyo).

Zimbabwe Elections Commission deputy chairperson Ambassador Rodney Kiwa said the by-elections went on smoothly. “No noise, no nothing. There was no violence. Like any other by-election there was low voter turnout. We are quite happy and satisfied with the process although our projection was a higher turnout of voters,” he said.

Zanu PF chief whip, Cde Pupurai Togarepi, said the two thirds majority has to factor in proportional representation as “all Members of Parliament are equal and have equal voting powers.”

Zanu PF Director for Information and Publicity Cde Farai Marapira said the win is a reflection of maturing democracy in the country as people are fast realising that President Mnangagwa is the only serious leader in Zimbabwe.

“The only leader with a vision for the citizens, the only leader with a selfless approach towards bettering our nation, this victory is an endorsement of the President’s policies and vision by the people. We expect the same trend to come in February.

An analyst, Dr Augustine Tirivangana said the opposition shot itself in the foot because of needless fights.

“It is a natural consequence. Remember what we said before about the so-called strategic ambiguity and structurelessness?

“This is the natural result of a bad and poorly conceived experiment. Surely, Zanu PF cannot fail to capitalise on such puerility to score big. That is politics,” he said.

Another analyst Rutendo Matinyarare said for many years the opposition has been able to utilise illegal sanctions to punish the Zimbabweans.

“By so doing the opposition has been able to get votes and to get into Parliament to get seats by cheating, rigging through illegal sanctions, crimes against humanity or persecutions by sanctions.

“So it happens that now a split within the opposition has awarded the ruling party votes back, that had been coerced out of the people of Zimbabwe to vote for the opposition because of the pain and suffering they caused through sanctions,” he said.

Another analyst, Dr Hamadziripi Dube said the CCC leadership are at loggerheads with each other and they will remain fragmented.

“Zanu PF is enjoying the ride with their foot right on the acceleration paddle following the confusion that the CCC and Nelson Chamisa have so far exhibited to all and sundry.

“It is crystal clear that the issue of structures was not ironed out in the past four years and the effect of that has manifested in the form of recalls.”

Zanu PF political commissar Cde Mike Bimha said the electoral victory shows that people now appreciate the work that the Zanu PF-led Government is doing.

He said the ruling party was looking forward to winning more seats in the February by-elections.

“I can only surmise that people have seen the light. Even those who were fence-sitting have seen that this is the best side to go and we expect to continue to have more people seeing the light,” said Cde Bimha.

He attributed the party’s victory to its organisational structures which have clearly defined roles.

“It is the party for now and the party for the future, it has been demonstrated and continues to be demonstrated. It also shows that it is an organised party and has a long history and strong tradition,” he said.

Zanu PF Secretary-General Dr Obert Mpofu congratulated the party supporters for ensuring the party victory.

He said Zanu PF is the only party that can address the people’s developmental issues while the opposition parties are just spoilers.

“It is clear there is no substitute for Zanu PF. Zanu PF is a party of choice, it is a colossal party in the country and whatever machinations that people will try will fail. CCC is in disarray because of its attempts to dislodge Zanu PF,” said Dr Mpofu.

He said the more they try to dislodge Zanu PF, the more confused they will be, the more chaotic they will be in their camp.

Cde Mavunga said he was elated after being voted to represent the Nketa Constituency.

He said he took advantage of the chaos of the opposition in Parliament and crafted his winning message.

“I promised to represent the people of Nketa well in Parliament. We have seen the opposition protesting in Parliament and this is not what the people want from their elected leaders. They want representatives who will enact laws that will transform their lives for the better,” he said.

Cde Mavunga said he made it clear to voters that the opposition had no leadership that is willing to serve them.

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