Harare East Voters Urged to Correct ‘Mistake’ in Upcoming By-Election

April 22, 2024
| Report Focus News
Zimbabwe's Vice President Chiwenga

Zimbabwe’s Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has urged voters in Harare East to back ZANU PF candidate Kiven Mutimbanyoka in the upcoming by-elections, stating that it is crucial to correct the “mistake” made in the August 2023 harmonized elections. The by-elections are scheduled for 27 April.

The Harare East seat was won by Allan Markham of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) during the harmonized elections, but he later resigned after CCC’s former leader, Nelson Chamisa, left the party. Chamisa claimed that ZANU PF had taken control of CCC.

Addressing supporters at Chikurubi Damview, Chiwenga linked the upcoming by-elections to key historical events, pointing out that 28 April 1897 marked the beginning of the Second Chimurenga, when spirit mediums Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi were executed by the British. He highlighted that this date holds significance as it symbolizes the start of Zimbabwe’s fight for independence.

“The Harare East by-elections give us a chance to correct the mistake of the August 2023 elections,” Chiwenga said. “We must not misuse this opportunity. April 27 is an important day, marking the end of the spirit mediums, and 28 April is the day we remember their sacrifice.”

Mutimbanyoka is set to compete against independent candidate Ropafadzo Cheza. In addition to the Harare East by-elections, Mount Pleasant will also hold a by-election on 27 April after Fadzayi Mahere of the CCC resigned. ZANU PF’s George Mashavave, along with independent candidates Naison Mamutse and Brian Ticky, are contesting this seat.

ZANU PF has deployed several groups, including Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ), Heritage Trust, and Young Women for ED, to campaign for their candidates in both by-elections, demonstrating the party’s efforts to regain ground.

The outcome of these by-elections could reflect the shifting political landscape in Zimbabwe and set the tone for future electoral contests.