Zim communities back Hopewell Chin’ono CCC elections defeat warning
... by-elections prove CCC has lots to cover in Zanu PF strongholds
By ALBERT MASAKA
SEVERAL Zimbabwean Twitter users have backed as sober government critic, Hopewell Chin’ono’s elections victory warning to the country’s biggest opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa.
This comes as voting trends in Zimbabwe remained split along an urban/rural divide with Zanu PF winning the rural vote and the opposition the urban.
In the tweet, Chin’ono said that the recent parliamentary and local government by-elections were a cause for concern in the opposition party’s quest to dislodge President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF in next year’s elections.
“ZANUPF has won only one local council seat in today’s 8 by elections. It retained its Mt Darwin council seat with 1 461 votes against @CCCZimbabwe’s 77.
“This means that there is a lot of work to be done in rural areas by @CCCZimbabwe before the watershed 2023 general election!” read the Tweet.
In response, the Zimbabwe Partnership party leader, Innocent Netanyahu, told Zim Community News today that Chamisa should pay closer attention to the actual results.
He speculated that results favour a president Emmerson Mnangagwa electoral victory as the CCC won at diminishing returns while Zanu PF was losing at an incremental margin.
“So CCC being a presidential party, the wards and constituency victories don’t matter. Comparing results of 2008, 2013 and 2018 will see significant gains in the electoral college percentage Zanu PF has gained.”
Others believed that the by-elections were in reality a fight between MDC Alliance faction of Douglas Mwonzora and Chamisa’s new CCC party.
In January, Chamisa founded a new party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), that contested in the recent elections with candidates expelled from the MDC-A, expulsions that triggered the by-elections.
While Chamisa emerged victorious in the opposition battle when the CCC won 19 out of the 28 national assembly seats up for grabs, Zanu PF claimed two previously opposition-held seats.
Curiously, Chin’onos tweet came after the CCC yesterday swept seven of the eight local council seats during yesterday’s by-elections while Zanu PF trounced the opposition in the Mt Darwin council seat.
Among a flood of responses, a Twitter user urged the opposition party to expedite the holding of an elective congress.
“This is why some of us are talking about Congress. If u are defeating Zanupf by 1:2 in Urban and yet they are defeating you by 1:20 in rural then u are trailing behind regardless of all the excitement. They have won one Council seat from CCC even if we deny that we are not MDC A.
In reply, another user said the CCC should instead prioritise setting up structures across provinces and districts in order to hold a congress.
Activist group Team Pachedu’ weighed in by pointing to a strategic manipulation by Zanu Pf using a power of encumbency of both the voters’ roll and Zanu PF members to favour another victory in selected constituencies.
“We highlighted many strange movements of voters across wards by ZEC, especially in urban areas. This information is being ignored, yet it’s one of the reasons why there is a narrowing gap between CCC and ZANU-PF in urban areas. We hope appropriate action will be taken on time.
Pachedu recently alleged that their study revealed that rigging National Assembly election results was a matter of Zanu PF identifying marginal seats from 2018 and 2022 and thenwork with its membership list and ZEC by moving its voters from nearby safe seats to the marginal seats.
The Zimbabwe Elections Commission later rubbished Pachedu’s findings as faulty alleging that the leaked voter roll copy used in the analysis was not an official and accurate copy.
Another user posted on the micro-blogging platform his concerns on the lack of political visibility by opposition leaders in his rural area.
“I grew up there, went to school in Rushinga and MtDarwin. Still have strong connections there. Those people lack leadership. Grassroots leadership. That’s what ZANU does. The Alternative doesn’t do that. My family tells me in the last election, the MDC candidate didnt show up once.”
Another weighed in by advising the CCC to desist from relying on rhetoric CCC but devise data-driven strategies through a strong rural voter education and mobilisation strategies based on these results.
“Two different constituencies with different perception &surroundings. The level of fear in rural areas is so deep and widely spread. CCC has to assemble campaign teams to reach every village. Underground work is needed in rural areas to protect villagers from retribution.”
Another accused Zanu PF of vote buying in the rural areas through the provision of food and agriculture inputs.
“Rural people don’t care about transport water and electricity jobs etc. They only care about seed and fertiliser. If Zanu gives them fertiliser they are content.
Another called on the opposition to elect popular candidates in the rural areas to ensure victory.
“Mkoma Hopewell, CCC leadership should identify candidates for rural constituencies on the basis of popularity of those individuals. They should identify opinion leaders in those areas as candidates so that they can reduce the tallies. Rural vote is the kingmaker.”