ZANU PF Clinches Victory in March 9 By-Elections, CCC Faces Setback

March 10, 2024
ZEC | Report Focus News

In a significant political development, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared the ruling party, ZANU PF, as the victor in two crucial by-elections conducted on March 9, 2024. These elections were closely monitored due to the seats being previously under the control of the opposition, the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC).

The by-elections were necessitated in Ward 4 of the Chinhoyi Municipality and Ward 36 in the City of Harare, marking a pivotal moment in Zimbabwe’s local governance landscape. The ZANU PF party managed to secure both seats, indicating a shift in political allegiances and showcasing the party’s ongoing influence in the nation’s political sphere.

In Harare’s Ward 36, ZANU PF’s Hilda Ruzani emerged victorious, securing 1,202 votes, surpassing the independent candidates Lovejoy Chitengu, who received 1,115 votes, and Loveness Gomba, who managed 289 votes. It’s noteworthy that Chitengu, a former mayor of Harare, had been associated with the CCC, following his appointment by Nelson Chamisa, the party’s former leader. However, internal conflicts within the CCC led to his and his predecessor, Ian Makone’s, expulsion by Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims the position of CCC Interim Secretary General.

The electoral battle in Chinhoyi’s Ward 4 saw ZANU PF’s Ignatius Zvigadza clinching the seat with 728 votes, edging out Archbold Muzanenhamo, an independent candidate who garnered 675 votes, and Ignatius Chari, another independent, who received a mere 13 votes.

The inability of a CCC faction led by Tshabangu to present candidates for these wards, following the recall of councillors elected in the general elections of August 23, 2023, raises questions about the party’s internal coherence and future strategy. This failure directly contributed to the by-elections and ultimately to the CCC’s loss of previously held seats.

These by-election outcomes not only reflect the dynamic and evolving nature of Zimbabwe’s political landscape but also highlight the challenges faced by opposition parties in maintaining unity and competitiveness. The results could have broader implications for the CCC’s strategies and their positioning in Zimbabwe’s political arena as they reassess their approach in the wake of this setback.