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Tshabangu brings back Zanu PF to urban areas



AFTER wonning Mount Pleasant and Harare East constituencies in the by-elections held over the weekend, Zanu PF now has seven seats in the capital for the first time since 2000 when it lost control of the country’s seat of political and economic power.


Harare metropolitan province, a major opposition stronghold, has 29 National Assembly constituencies even though it has by far the largest number of registered voters of about one million.

The Delimitation Commission, that draws constituency boundaries, and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which runs elections, suppressed voters in Harare during last year’s August general elections.

Zanu PF’s latest victory redrew the Harare electoral map for rhe first time since 2000, signifying subversion of democracy and voter apathy amid the death of parliamentary vibrancy.

The opposition CCC, partly controlled by Tshabangu, is now a captured party doing Zanu PF’s bidding, while maintaining its authoritarian political project.

The ruling party’s candidates, George Mashavave and Kiven Mutimbanyoka, easily emerged victorious, garnering 3 205 and 3 533 votes, respectively. Independent candidates associated with the opposition lost.

Both constituencies were won by Zanu PF candidates with comfortable leads. Mutimbanyoka won the by-election with a lead of 1 559 votes, while Mashavave won with a lead of 2 040 votes.

While Harare East had predominantly been won by opposition parties since 2000, Zanu PF previously won the seat in the 2015 by-election when Terrence Mukupe of Zanu PF was declared the winner. Mount Pleasant has also been an opposition stronghold since 2008, with Zanu PF winning the seat in 2013 when Jameson Timba of the opposition MDC-T got 3 817, but lost to Jaison Passade of Zanu PF who had 7 946.

In fact, opposition candidates were not a factor. This political development is attributable to opposition CCC’s self-imposed secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu’s self-serving political agenda.

The democratic cost of Tshabangu’s shenanigans is rising as Zanu PF keeps on clawing back into urban areas from the woodwork. The party was largely exiled to rural areas by the now defucnt MDC from 2000.

Tshabangu’s manoeuvres, supported by the executive, Parliament and the judiciary, as well as state security agents and bitter individuals in blind fury, have taken the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe 24 years back.

After delivering a parliamentary two-thirds majority for Zanu PF and urban seats, Tshabangu named the price: A senate seat, Toyota Fortuner and money.

He is now living large after delivering for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF, with whom he now hobnobs.

Prior to the by-elections, Mount Pleasant independent candidate Brian Ticky has thrown his weight behind opposition politician Nelson Chamisa, saying he is confident of winning the seat and proceeding to spearhead his vision.

Ticky said this while distancing himself from the shadowy Zanu PF group Forever Associates Zimbabwe (Faz).

Ticky paid tribute to former Mt Pleasant MP Fadzayi Mahere who resigned from Parliament in sympathy with Chamisa who had quit the Citizens’ Coalition for Change, saying the opposition party had been infiltrated by Zanu PF and held to ransom by Tshabangu who went on to recall elected MPs in a bid to give the ruling party a two-thirds parliamentary majority.

Ticky contested against Zanu PF’s George Mashavave and another independent candidate Naison Mamuse in the 27 April by-election.

He told The NewsHawks that Chamisa is his role model, going into the by-election.

“I’m getting in this by-election in support of the former CCC president advocate Nelson Chamisa’s vision because I see him as a charismatic leader who is giving hope and possibility of a better Zimbabwe for all,” Ticky said.

“It’s not a secret that Nelson Chamisa is a loved man and he is the hope of every suffering Zimbabwean and of every unemployed youth. Putting him on our campaign material was never meant to discredit anyone or misled the masses, rather it was a way of showing the people that we share the same vision with him as vision attracts provision,” he said.
Tickly distanced himself from Faz.

“I’m not Faz,  I am not Zanu PF and neither am I CCC. This is the reason why me and my campaign team felt like we have offended some individuals during the execution of our campaign. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise and also clear the rumours that my campaign is allegedly being funded by Zanu PF. These allegations are not only false but are tailored to discredit my authenticity as a true representative of Mt Pleasant constituency.

“They should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. We are not against the struggle of the people of Mt Pleasant and Zimbabwe as a whole. The resignation of Advocate Fadzai Mahere came as a blow to us as people of Mt Pleasant constituency as it was unexpected and yet called for. She did so in solidarity with the president [Chamisa] as a way of protesting against the illegal recalls by Sengezo Tshabangu.”

“The CC leadership was no longer chosen by the people but rather imposed by a tainted state of Parliament and dark actors. However, we could not let the Mt Pleasant seat be taken by a party that does not have people at heart but rather are in it for self-enrichment. The reason why I am de-associating myself with anything that has to do with Zanu PF is because I am not proud to be associated with them, I do not support their ideologies, misgovernance and ignorance to human needs and rights,” he said.

Zanu PF has been holding mobilisation meetings in the constituency targeting to win the seat.

In its latest meeting last week, the ruling party’s Harare provincial leadership camped in the constituency to intensify campaign efforts.

During one meeting, Zanu PF politburo member Senator Charles Tawengwa reiterated that Zanu PF was determined to claim the seat.

Another politburo member, Tendai Chirau, said people are supposed to vote for Zanu PF because it is a revolutionary party.

On the other end, Zanu PF Harare provincial chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa said the party would win because it had galvanised its structures to canvass for votes in the constituency.

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