Political parties intensify campaigns ahead of by-elections

With only less than two weeks before Zimbabweans go to by-elections on March 26, political parties have intensified their campaigns ahead of the D-day.

The mini polls are meant to fill in 28 parliamentary and over 120 local authority seats that have fallen vacant over the past two years.

The ruling ZANU-PF has been all over the country campaigning for its candidates in the imminent by-elections. The party on Sunday held a rally in Mutare, which was addressed by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

The Nelson Chamisa-led Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) over the weekend held a rally in Beitbridge before moving to Tsholotsho South Monday. The party’s rally which had been slated for Siabuwa, Binga was cancelled by police citing inadequate manpower to provide security at the event.

Police also blocked CCC from holding its rally in Marondera last Saturday, claiming they failed to comply with the provisions of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA).

The Douglas Mwonzora-led MDCT and other opposition parties have been all over as well canvassing for votes ahead of the mini polls.

More rallies are lined up for the weekend.

Political analyst, Vusumuzi Chirwa however believes the major contest will be between ZANU-PF and CCC.

“The major players on March 26 will be the new kid on the block, CCC and the old horse ZANU PF,” he said.

“March 26 shall also lay a tombstone on the grave of the deceased MDC-T cum MDC Alliance which shall never be forgiven in history for the greatest betrayal of the electorate.”

Chirwa however lamented the uneven playing field ahead of the by-elections.

“The political field is level only for other political parties except for CCC,” he said. “Election campaigns are now at the mercy of the Zimbabwe Republic Police which is only supposed to provide security. It’s totally unacceptable to have the ZRP decide who should or shouldn’t hold a political rally. It’s also unacceptable for the ZRP to override court rulings regarding the holding of rallies, the banning of roadshows convoys is not justified; even funerals and weddings do roadshows in spectacular convoys all the way to cemeteries and reception venues.”

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