Mnangagwa finally gets two-thirds majority as Zanu PF claims clean sweep in Saturday by-elections

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By Leopold Munhende | Chief Correspondent

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has finally attained his much-fancied two-thirds Parliamentary majority, putting one foot into a possible third presidential term.

Zanu PF won all six constituencies which were being contested in Saturday’s by-elections that followed recalls by Citizens Coalition for Change’s (CCC) self-styled Secretary General Sengezo Tshabangu.

The party now has 190 Members of Parliament (MPs) having reached the 184 figure at December’s by-elections.

A dismantled CCC failed to challenge Zanu PF, with only one candidate managing to breach the 1,000 votes mark while the rest struggled.

Following the recalls, Tshabangu proceeded to approach the High Court and bar former party President Nelson Chamisa’s preferred candidates from contesting, in unending factional fights within the opposition party.

Zanu PF claimed wins in Seke, Mkoba North where CCC Organising Secretary Amos Chibaya was barred from re-contesting his seat, Zvimba East, Goromonzi South, Chegutu West and Pelandaba where firebrand Ostallos Siziba was also barred.

“I can confirm that the ruling Zanu PF party won all the six constituencies where by-elections were held. The party also won 20 of the 23 Wards that were contested while three were won by the opposition,” said ZEC’s Utoile Silaigwana.

“The ruling party had also won five other constituencies uncontested after the removal from the ballot of candidates that had registered under the CCC following the ruling by the High Court.”

Although the likelihood that Zanu PF can force its way and keep Mnangagwa for a third term, the constitution bars him from benefiting from any amendment that extends a President’s beyond the regulated two. It can only benefit his predecessor.

According to ZimFact: “The constitutional changes Mnangagwa would need to extend his presidency beyond two terms require not just two-thirds of the votes in Parliament, but a popular majority through a referendum as well.”