Zimbabwe’s By-Election campaign heats up
Zimbabwe’s political landscape ignited this past weekend as both ZANU PF and CCC parties intensified their campaigns for the upcoming by-elections. The two major parties traversed constituencies across the country, vying for voter support and presenting their manifestos. The country is scheduled to hold by-elections in more than 14 constituencies and 17 wards, raising the stakes for both ZANU PF and the CCC.
The ruling ZANU PF focused its efforts on the controversial Cowdray Park constituency, where Finance Minister Professor Mthulisi Ncube lost to the CCC in the previous election. Led by Vice President Chiwenga, the party campaigned for Arthur Mujeji and Kidwell Mujuru for the vacant Member of Parliament and Ward 6 Local Authority seats, respectively. Chiwenga promised development and construction of schools and hospitals within the newly created constituency.
The CCC, led by Nelson Chamisa, held rallies across Bulawayo and Harare, backing recalled MPs. In Cowdray Park, however, the party opted for a door-to-door campaign to avoid clashes with ZANU PF. Hon. Pashor Sibanda, a recalled MP and CCC candidate, confirmed this on social media.
In Mabvuku Tafara, voters will witness a rematch between controversial businessman Scott Sakupwanya of ZANU PF and recalled CCC candidate Febion Kufahakutizwe. Notably, this is the only constituency where Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-proclaimed CCC Secretary General, did not impose a candidate.
While many in Bulawayo, particularly Nketa, Magwegwe, and Bulawayo South, anticipated a Nelson Chamisa appearance, the party’s spokesperson, Hon. Gift Ostallos Siziba, addressed the rallies. In Bulawayo South, Siziba introduced the CCC candidate, Nicola Watson, who will face businessman and former minister Raj Modi for the second time. Additionally, former MP Sithole, backed by Sengezo Tshabangu, joins the race.
Siziba emphasized the CCC’s focus on improving healthcare and ensuring proper pension funds for residents. He criticized the government’s role in the health sector, ironically speaking a few minutes away from one of the country’s largest hospitals. Siziba highlighted the lack of medicine, cancer machines, and the cholera outbreak, among other issues.
Sengezo Tshabangu was absent from all CCC rallies, and the candidates he deployed haven’t held any rallies yet.