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CCC interim secretary-general Mr Sengezo Tshabangu says if some of his party candidates had not been de-campaigned by his rivals, his party would have retained all seats in the constituencies they fielded candidates for the weekend by-elections.
The ruling Zanu PF party trounced the CCC in parliamentary by-elections held on Saturday, winning six of the eight seats contested countrywide, while it was a walkover in Mabvuku after the CCC candidate was disqualified by the court.
CCC retained two parliamentary seats in Bulawayo with Mr Tendayi Nyathi winning the Mzilikazi-Mpopoma seats, while Mr Charles Moyo won the Lobengula-Magwegwe constituency.
Mr Nyathi got 1 632 votes while Zanu PF’s Cde Dzingai Kamamba garnered 1 318 votes. Mr Moyo had 1 648 votes while the ruling party candidate, Cde Wenziwe Dube got 1 318 votes.
In Cowdray Park, CCC candidate, Mr Vusumuzi Chirwa lost by 205 votes to Cde Arthur Mujeyi of Zanu PF where there were 572 spoilt papers while in Nketa, Mr Ambrose Sibindi, who was contesting against Cde Albert Mavunga of Zanu PF lost the contest by 111 votes and there were 324 spoilt votes.
In Bulawayo South, Mr James Sithole was 478 votes behind the winning candidate Cde Raj Modi’s total votes.
In Matabeleland North, CCC’s Mr David Nyathi got 1 750 votes while the winning Zanu PF candidate, Cde Phathisiwe Machangu of Zanu PF got 6 863 votes in the Lupane East by-election in Binga North, Ms Judith Sibanda of CCC had 1 003 people voting for her, compared to 9 862 that voted for Zanu PF’s Cde Muchimba Chineka.
In the local government by-elections in Bulawayo, the CCC beat Zanu PF, winning six of the eight seats contested. The CCC also won a council seat in the Midlands Province.
Zanu PF won two council seats in the Midlands, and another in Masvingo Province, to bring its tally to five of the eleven seats contested in the by-elections.
The by-elections were occasioned by the CCC’s recall of its elected representatives from parliament, and councils, prompted by internal squabble in the opposition party.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Tshabangu said despite some party members boycotting the polls at the instigation of calls by rivals within the party, they were encouraged by the performance of their candidates.
“We had hoped to get all the five available seats in Bulawayo, but we won two,” he said.
“This is no mean feat in the face of an active de-campaign strategy by some of our former members who resorted to deliberately spoiling the papers and abstinence as a solution.
“This eventually led to Zanu PF gaining an advantage. Nonetheless, we congratulate our candidates who did very well and lost by very small margins in testing circumstances.”
Mr Tshabangu said the same vote-spoiling and abstinence strategy, resulted in both CCC double candidates under-performing in the local authority elections.
“We are encouraged by our performance everywhere else and we know that better organisation of the party will see it rejuvenated to its former vibrancy,” he said.
Mr Tshabangu said the party had already started preparations for an elective congress as part of the road to the 2028 national elections.
However, he did not say when and where the congress will be held.