Dr Thokozani Khupe says the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) needs a thousand votes to gain control of three wards in the upcoming by-election in Bulilima.
Bulilima will hold by-elections on September 3, 2022 in Ward 1, 14 and 16 after the resignation of Zanu PF councillors, Tonny Mlotshwa and Ntungamili Dube and the death of Delani Mabhena.
Zanu PF controls 21 councillors in Bulilima Rural District Council while the opposition only has one ward.
The former Deputy Prime Minister said the by-election in Bulilima would be a test run for CCC ahead of the national elections next year.
“The by-election will build a strong foundation for the 2023 election. Bulilima used to be our strong hold up until 2013 and it is very possible for us to regain it,” Dr Khupe said at a recent twitter space organised by the CCC Mthwakazi, a group of the party’s supporters based in the diaspora.
Dr Khupe said for the opposition to win ‘big’, CCC must generate between 900 to a 1 000 votes in all the three wards, amid indications that there are 5000 registered voters in Bulilima.
“We can only manage to generate these votes, if we have the right tools to use, hence the reason why we are appealing for your assistance in terms of fuel, t-shirts and flyers. The manpower we have is ready to work but people need assistance to be able to interact with the electorate,” she said.
“As you know, people vote for the party which interacts with them constantly. That is why it is important that we keep in touch with our electorate until September 2, a day before voting on September 3, 2022. This can only happen if we go to all the villages and be there everyday. That’s why we need fuel, fliers, t-shirts.”
The former DPM noted that campaign teams need party regalia so they can be easily identifiable.
“Campaign teams can’t go without t-shirts and regalia because people want to identify with them through their regalia. People need that regalia so we are appealing to you,” Dr Khupe appealed to audiences.
Dr Khupe stated that it was crucial for people to be educated on the importance of voting in elections and participating in electoral processes.
“We have people who are not registered, people who don’t want to vote and passive voters so we want to change them and make sure everybody votes because every vote counts. We are going to be interacting with people on the voters’ roll, who are registered, talking to them to generate the 900 and 1 000 votes,” she said.
“Once that happens we are winning all the three wards. It is not going to be difficult. If you look at the margin (won by Zanu PF) in the 2018 election, the margins are about 100 votes.”
Khupe said it was time political parties adopted new strategies to encourage people to vote.
“Using the same strategy and expecting different results doesn’t work because Zimbabwe has been voting for Zanu PF yet people don’t have jobs, food, money or anything in their name. It is important for the electorate to understand that voting is one of the fundamental rights that will change and define their future,” said Dr Khupe.
“This is what we will be doing, educating the electorate so they understand the importance of voting just by using your hands. Look at what Zambia did (where the opposition gained state power in 2021) people used their hands and we expect Zimbabwe to do the same.”