HARARE – Zanu PF’s assumed clout in recapturing parts of opposition territory while protecting its own comes under check this December when party candidates face off with CCC opponents in six Binga Rural District Council polls.
Zanu PF retained its five in six council seats in polls that were held in parts of the country this past weekend.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has since announced the holding of by-lections in six Binga Rural District Council wards, three in Gweru Municipality and one in Victoria Falls.
“It is hereby notified in terms of Section 121A of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13) that following the recall of councillors by their sponsoring party vacancies have arisen in the following wards: Binga RDC Ward 6, Binga RDC Ward 8, Binga RDC Ward 10, Binga RDC Ward 15, Binga RDC Ward 20, Binga RDC Ward 23, Gweru Municipality Ward 4, Gweru Municipality Ward 5, Gweru Municipality Ward 18 and Victoria Falls Municipality Ward 8,” ZEC said in an election notice.
The seats were rendered vacant following another round of recalls on sitting councillors by the Douglas Mwonzora led MDC-T.
Added ZEC, “The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission fixes Saturday 3 December as the day on which a poll shall take place if it becomes necessary in terms of Section 125(4)(b) of the Electoral Act.”
ZEC also fixed 3 November 2022 as the dates nomination courts shall sit.
However, since formation of the then opposition MDC, part of which later reconstituted to CCC led by Nelson Chamisa, Zanu PF has come in for some good hiding by the main opponent in Binga.
Zanu PF will have to find a formula to undo the massive votes scored in 2018 by the then MDC Alliance candidates in the six contested Binga wards.
In Binga RDC Ward 6, MDC Alliance’s Joseph Mwembe in 2018 garnered 2,302 to win the seat against Zanu PF’s Makemore Mudimba who got 248.
In Binga RDC Ward 8, another seat to be contested this December, Mathias Mudenda of MDC Alliance polled 1,087 against Zanu PF’s Andson Muzamba who got 351.
In Ward 10, John Simunene Sikabotu of MDC Alliance got 1,168 against Zanu PF’s Clay Mudimba who got 412.
The situation was the same in Ward 15 where Wilson Siampolomba of MDC Alliance got 1,237 votes against Bernard Mudenda of Zanu PF’s 650.
In Ward 20, Crispen Munkuli of MDC Alliance won the 2018 poll with 1,440 votes against Zanu PF’s Kenne Mumpande who got 445.
Zanu PF’s Patrick Dube did better than his comrades 2018 when he polled 787 votes, although in a losing cause to MDC Alliance’s Kingson Mpofu, who got 1,334 to win Binga RDC’s Ward 23.
The 2018 Binga local authority polls were also being contested by candidates from smaller parties who polled negligible votes.
Binga, one of the country’s most poor communities, has proven to be tough terrain for the ruling party.