In the recent by-elections held last Saturday, the ruling Zanu PF party secured victory in all six contested seats, achieving a two-thirds majority and raising concerns about potential rounds of constitutional amendments.
The by-elections were triggered after lawmakers were recalled by Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-proclaimed interim secretary-general of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), who claimed they had ceased to be members of the party.
The constituencies where by-elections were held included Seke, Goromonzi South, Zvimba East, Pelandaba-Tshabalala, Chegutu West, and Mkoba. In Pelandaba-Tshabalala, Zanu PF’s Joseph Tshuma secured victory with 1,845 votes, followed by CCC’s Moreblessing Tembo with 464 votes, and Democratic Official Party’s Abraham Nkomo Yona with 156 votes.
Archibald Chiponda, Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial spokesperson, hailed the victory as a signal of the electorate’s return to the ruling party. Meanwhile, Tshabangu’s spokesperson, Khaliphani Phugheni, awaited further feedback from the ground.
Zanu PF also reclaimed Zvimba East and Chegutu West constituencies in Mashonaland West. In Zvimba East, Kudakwashe Mananzva (Zanu PF) secured victory with 10,359 votes, followed by Independent candidate Oliver Mutasa and CCC candidate Agrippa Alberto.
In Chegutu West, Shakemore Tirumbwa (Zanu PF) emerged victorious with 6,697 votes, followed by Independent candidate Admore Chivero and perennial loser Gift Konjana. Chivero alleged widespread vote-buying and bussing of voters to rural polling stations.
Mary Mliswa, Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson, interpreted the results as a vote of confidence in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s leadership. Zanu PF also clinched six wards in Chinhoyi, Chegutu, and Norton.
In Gweru’s Mkoba North constituency, Edgar Ncube (Zanu PF) defeated Patrick Tayiya of the Democratic Official Party, polling 2,415 votes against Tayiya’s 1,663.