Latest News Editor's Choice


News / Local

Chamisa rolls sleeves as battle hots up

by Staff reporter
03 Dec 2023 at 17:43hrs | Views
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa will today conduct marathon campaign rallies in Bulawayo as his loyalists seek to regain their seats in weekend by-elections following controversial recalls by an alleged imposter.

By elections in the constituencies and wards of the recalled MPs and councillors in different parts of the country are set for Saturday.

On Friday, the Supreme Court threw out appeal by CCC the recalled MPs and senators against a High Court ruling that said Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the opposition party's interim secretary general did not act outside the law when he recommended their dismissals.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa will today conduct marathon campaign rallies in Bulawayo as his loyalists seek to regain their seats in weekend by-elections following controversial recalls by an alleged imposter.

By elections in the constituencies and wards of the recalled MPs and councillors in different parts of the country are set for Saturday.

On Friday, the Supreme Court threw out an appeal by the recalled MPs and senators against a High Court ruling that said Tshabangu did not act outside the law when he recommended their dismissals.

The Supreme Court said the appeal filed by the legislators was defective and this paved the way for the by-elections to go ahead.

Bulawayo will have by-elections in five constituencies. There are elections to also fill eight vacant local government seats.

This publication established that the court ruling jolted Chamisa and the CCC to hold marathon rallies today amid fears that Tshabangu's candidates may steal victory if the party leader does not join the mobilisation of voters to return to polling stations barely three months after voting in harmonised elections in August.

Chamisa will conduct rallies for the recalled legislators Eric Gono (Lobengula-Magwegwe), Obert Manduna (Nketa), Watson Nicola Jane (Bulawayo South) and Desmond Makaza (Mpopoma Mzilikazi).

It emerged last night that police had blocked a rally in Cowdray Park where Pashor Raphael Sibanda is seeking re-election after claiming that Zanu-PF wanted to use the same venue.

Chamisa will start with his schedule in Nketa constituency in the morning before heading to Makokoba. He will round up the day with a rally in Magwegwe Lobengula constituency.

CCC had swept all the 12 parliamentary seats in the city. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube spent big campaigning for the Cowdray Park seat, but lost to Sibanda.

Promise Mkwananzi, the CCC spokesperson, said they were confident of retaining the seats.

"We want to use these needless elections to show Zanu-PF the futility of their unlawful recalls," Mkwananzi said.

"We are very confident of winning the elections and our president will be in Bulawayo canvassing support for our candidates tomorrow (today)."

Tshabangu recently recalled 13 more legislators and five senators from Parliament including party deputy spokesperson Gift Siziba and organising secretary Amos Chibaya.

As the by-elections draw nearer, the CCC has complained that the upcoming polls and court cases challenging Tshabangu were draining its coffers.

Chibaya said the party was now relying on donations as the polls were placing a substantial burden on the CCC's limited resources.

"We are self-fundraising but the money is not enough," Chibaya said.

"We rely on the citizens, even those from the constituencies. They are the ones who are literally funding our candidates."

Some of the recalled MPs seeking reelection said they were facing financial difficulties.

Watson, who is eyeing the Bulawayo South constituency, said: "I am managing, but I have to say it's very difficult to do a balancing act."

Gono, the party's candidate for Lobengula-Magwegwe, said he was facing the same financial challenges.

"We need money for T-shirts, flyers, banners, and to sustain our campaign teams and also get polling agents at stations," Gono said.

Kufahakutizwi, who is seeking re-election in Mabvuku-Tafara, said his little resources were stretched.

"The campaigns basically need about US$6 000 for the short period for the by-elections," he said.

Kufahakutizwi accused the ruling Zanu-PF party of harassing him in an attempt to derail his campaign for the upcoming byelections.

"Zanu-PF is cooking charges against me so that they can deter my campaign," he said.

"The plan behind this charge was to arrest me and release me after elections. In this regard, what it means is that I won't be on the ground campaigning because they will arrest me.

"So they have kept me in hiding and I hear police are looking for me after the doctor and other Zanu-PF guys opened a fake docket and looked for fake witnesses."

Despite the challenges, Kufahakutizwi said he was confident of victory in the upcoming by-elections.

Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda said he was also confident that he will bounce back into Parliament.

"People want to express themselves and we are going to win again," Sibanda said.

"They (people) are very unhappy with these Zanu-PF engineered recalls and they would want to show Zanu-PF a middle finger."

Mkwananzi added: "We are always ready for any democratic battle, including this sham and shambolic election. Our purpose is to defend and retain our zones of autonomy."

On Friday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared February 3, 2024 as the date for by-elections for six National Assembly constituencies that fell vacant following the recall of CCC legislators on November 10.

The recalled MPs are Siziba Gift Ostallos, Chatiza Stephen, Madzimbamuto Tapfumanei Willard, Chivero Admore, Mutasa Oliver and Chibaya Amos who represented Pelandaba, Goromonzi South, Seke, Chegutu West, Zvimba East and Mkoba North, respectively.

Source - the standard