MUTARE- Newly formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) managed to win one parliamentary seat, losing another seat in Manicaland province, in by-elections marked by low voter turn out.
CCC candidate Prosper Mutseyami defended his seat retaining the Chikanga-Dangamvura national assembly seat after polling 13 132 votes to Isau Mupfumi’s 6 304.
In Mutasa South constituency, Regai Tsunga of the CCC party polled 5269 losing his seat narrowly to Misheck Mugadza of Zanu PF who got 5818 votes while the MDC Alliance candidate came a distant third with 162 votes.
CCC has since conceded defeat in Mutasa South, a constituency that has regularly changed hands between the MDC and Zanu PF since 2008.
In a tweet, the CCC information department conceded defeat in Mutasa South constituency said, “We lost this (Mutasa South) seat to Zanu PF.”
However, CCC and Mutseyami’s victory does not belly the large decline in numbers of voters in Mutare urban, as previously 32 000 voted in favor of the MDC Alliance in the 2018 elections.
Other candidates in Chikanga-Dangamvura were Taurai Mudzipurwa of MDC T who got 348 votes, musician cum politician Hosiah Chipanga of Patriotic Zimbabweans got 209 votes and Anesu Zaranyika polled a measly 57 votes.
The by-election result represents a decline of voters for the opposition in Mutare urban by a margin of over 19 000 votes, as the country heads for watershed 2023 harmonised elections.
CCC Provincial spokesperson David Panganai said this gap will be covered by ensuring the youth participate enmasse in the 2023 elections.
He said the by-election results should give courage to all democrats that nothing should deter citizen voters from supporting political parties of their choice.
“We had reports of traditional leaders disturbing the voting process in terms of assisted voters in Mutasa South and Chipinge Central.
“Villagers were coerced to declare this by some political activists that were paid money to intimidate voters.
“We want to thank the citizens for speaking out in their numbers to the regime. This was an icing to the cake,” said Panganai.
CCC leader, Nelson Chamisa, in a message on micro blogging site Twitter, questioned the taxpayers’ money used in administering by-elections at the instigation of MDC Alliance.
Chamisa said citizens voted against foolish politics in comments that poured scorn on Douglas Mwonzora’s antics in recalling elected councilors and MPs across Zimbabwe.
“This by-election has shown that ultimately all authority comes from the CITIZENS. Citizens are above politicians and their foolish politics.
“Why did you waste national resources tax payers money? Would these resources not have been deployed to better our health, education sectors?” said Chamisa.