Chamisa’s CCC trounces Zanu PF in weekend municipal polls

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By Thandiwe Garusa

THE Nelson Chamisa-led Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) trounced Zanu PF and other parties in seven of the eight municipal by-elections held at the weekend.

The elections were held on Saturday to replace deceased and recalled councillors.

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), CCC’s Lovemore Maiko got 975 votes while his nearest rival, Mlambo Charamba received 394 votes in Chitungwiza Ward 7.

The MDC Alliance candidate, Bothwell Batsika managed just 22 out of the 1 404 votes.

In Makoni, CCC candidate Lyton Sithole beat Zanu PF’s Brighton Manhuhwa.

CCC candidates also won in Mutare Ward 14, with CCC’s Patrick Masenyama getting 819 votes while Jonah Wellington Moyo of Zanu PF received 493.

In Mutare Ward 16, CCC Catherine Sekai Mukodza got 1 054 votes, beating Webster Mudzimwa of Zanu PF who got 406 votes.

Zanu PF however claimed victory in Mt. Darwin Ward 3, where its candidate Gift Madziwa garnered Zanu PF 1 461 against Samuel Tobias of CCC who managed 77 votes.

There was no such joy for the ruling party in all wards which were being contested for in Kariba.

Kariba Ward 3 was won by Farayi Mageva of CCC who claimed 718 while Zanu PF candidate Albert Chakwara got 398.

It was the same story in Kariba Ward 4, where CCC candidate George Masendu polled 241 to beat Zanu PF’s Joshua Mukwesha with 125.

In Kariba Ward 8, CCC candidate Pedzisayi Mushuwei garnered 107 votes while Samuel Machemba of Zanu PF managed just 62.

Chamisa took to micro-blogging site, Twitter to congratulate his party for a good showing.

“Fellow Citizens. Congrats for #CCC 7/8 wards landslide victory in yesterday’s by-elections, against all odds & because of you citizens. Thank you for continuing to solidly support, mobilize and vote for change. Be part of the victorious forces. Join now. Support Change,” he tweeted Sunday evening.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) however bemoaned the low voter turnout which characterised the polls.

“There is a need for greater political literacy amongst citizens for them to make use of political and electoral rights afforded them by the constitution. This would translate into improved turnout for local authority by-elections which in comparison with national assembly by-elections are regarded as less important,” ZESN said in a report.

“Political parties must continue to call on their supporters to engage those with divergent political interests peacefully as this will enhance the credibility of elections in Zimbabwe. There is a need for political party leaders and their supporters to respect the civil and political rights enshrined in the constitution, in particular freedom of association,” ZESN said.

“Political parties should ensure their agents arrive at their assigned polling stations on time and that they observe all polling processes so that they can authoritatively comment on the polling day processes.”