CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) was the biggest winner in the weekend by-elections to fill vacant seats following the recall of councillors by MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora.
CCC, which was formed early this year, took seven out of the eight wards with Zanu PF retaining its Mt Darwin rural ward.
CCC leader Nelson Chamisa was ecstatic, although he said the electoral playing field was not free and fair.
“Fellow citizens, congratulations to CCC for wards landslide victory in yesterday’s by-elections, against all odds and because of you citizens. Thank you for continuing to solidly support, mobilise and vote for change,” Chamisa tweeted. .
Asked if the elections were free and fair, Chamisa responded: “Winning the fight when both your hands are tied doesn’t make it any fair!”
The run up to the elections was marred by violence with skirmishes reported in Chitungwiza and Kariba.
Zanu PF lost in Kariba where all three wards, wards 3, 4 and 8 saw the recalled councillors re-elected.
Analysts said while CCC was showing growth by winning urban wards which have been historically MDC strongholds, the party should do more to attract the rural vote.
“Zanu PF has accepted that it cannot win in urban areas. Its strategy is to get as many votes in those (rural) areas while narrowing margins for the opposition. When Zanu PF wins, it wins big and by doing so, it secures the presidency,” political analyst Pardon Taodzera said.
“The opposition, especially CCC, which has shown potential to upset the ruling party, should try to woo the rural vote because as it stands Zanu PF is headed for a comfortable win in 2023.”
Zanu PF has been eating into the urban oppositon stronghold while maintaining its dominance in rural
“2023 will be a battle of rural vs urban margins. One rural constituency margin wipes out 10 lean urban margins,” former minister Walter Mzembi said.