Zim Political Tensions Rise: CCC camps at the Nomination Court for second round of by-elections
Just months after a tense general election, Zimbabweans prepare for another round of critical by-elections in six constituencies on February 3rd, 2024. These polls come amidst ongoing political turmoil and uncertainty surrounding the August 2023 results.
The by-elections stem from the controversial recall of opposition MPs by Sengezo Tshabangu, acting Secretary-General of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). He claims the expelled members, including prominent spokesperson Gift Siziba, have severed ties with the party. This has sparked debate about the legality of their continued involvement in CCC activities.
The first round of by-elections in November witnessed the ruling ZANU-PF party gaining ground, while several CCC candidates associated with leader Nelson Chamisa were controversially removed from the ballot at the last minute. Following Tshabangu’s legal challenge, they were barred from standing under the CCC banner.
In the upcoming polls, several interesting scenarios unfold. In Pelandaba/Tshabalala, expelled CCC MP Madzimba runs as an independent against ZANU-PF and a CCC candidate favored by Tshabangu. Meanwhile, Tshabangu’s failure to submit a candidate in Mkoba North leaves the field open for Chamisa’s preferred candidate, the DOP party, and ZANU-PF.
CCC maintains the disputed ban on recalled members using the party name is invalid, having appealed the High Court ruling in favor of Tshabangu to the Supreme Court. This adds another layer of complexity to the already charged political atmosphere.