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Chamisa's CCC loses Chinhoyi Ward 2 by-election as infighting escalates

by Staff reporter
04 Dec 2023 at 06:56hrs | Views
The Citizens' Coalition for Change (CCC) experienced the consequences of internal division as its candidate for Chinhoyi Ward 2 lost in a by-election held on Saturday. The relatively unknown Hamilton Jonasi Kapungu, representing CCC, emerged as a compromise candidate amid factional disputes involving the sole female candidate, Unity Feremenga, and another candidate named Chamu.

In the by-election, Kapungu was defeated by Zanu-PF's Walter Mutevani, receiving 465 votes compared to Mutevani's 564 votes. Mutevani had received significant support from prominent figures within Zanu-PF, including Chris Mutsvangwa and Mike Chimombe, avoiding a primary election for his candidacy.

The vacant ward seat resulted from the passing of CCC's Patricia Chibaya, who had won her second term in the August 23 and 24 harmonized polls by defeating Mutevani. After Chibaya's death, internal conflicts arose within CCC regarding her successor, with one faction supporting Feremenga and another advocating for Chamu. The disagreement led to the compromise selection of Kapungu as the candidate, reflecting a party in disarray.

During the campaign, Mutevani promised to address issues such as water shortages, road conditions, and street lighting. Despite narrowly losing in the August polls, he pledged to use his resources to tackle these challenges if elected.

The Chinhoyi Ward 2 constituency, home to a significant elderly population in the Gadzema township, saw a voter turnout of 39.2%, with ZESN describing the pre-election period as mostly peaceful. ZESN also noted low instances of people being turned away at polling stations for reasons such as missing names on the voter's roll or presenting unacceptable documents.

As it stands, Zanu-PF has gained ground in Chinhoyi, securing three elected councillors and two proportional representatives out of the 15 wards, while CCC had 12 elected and three seconded through the women quota before recent recalls by Sengezo Tshabangu resulted in the removal of five councillors.

Two additional by-elections are pending in Chinhoyi to fill the vacancies left by recalled CCC councillors Dyke Makumbi and Lovemore Kurwakumire. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) issued a preliminary statement describing the Chinhoyi Municipality Ward 2 by-election as free and fair, commending the peaceful participation of the electorate and emphasizing the need for greater political literacy.

Source - newzimbabwe