The race for the Binga North parliamentary seat is heating up, with mudslinging having already started among the candidates.
Five candidates are vying for Binga North constituency: Peggy Mudimba -MDC Alliance, Kudakwashe Mavula Munsaka -Zanu PF, Clive Muzamba – United Democratic Alliance, Prince Dubeko Sibanda – Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and an independent Disciple Munkuli.
CCC candidate Sibanda who seeks re-election into office underscored the party would win and his focus on surpassing his performance in the last election.
“Our campaign is going on very well, it was launched on January 31, 2022, in Chief Sinansenkwe’s Ward 4 where it brought all leaders of the 15 wards. We have been going village by Village, even Zanu PF people will vote for us,” he told CITE.
Sibanda claimed Binga North was an opposition stronghold, as the ruling party has never won since 1980.
“For the first time in 2018, we won 15 out of the 15 wards in Binga North. We are controlling all the wards in terms of politics. In 2018, the Zanu PF candidate had 7 000 votes, while I had 19 000 votes, which is a 12 000-margin advantage,” he said.
Optimistic of victory, Sibanda said CC would “no doubt” win the seat.
“It’s not a matter of if we win but a matter of by how many votes. It doesn’t matter who Zanu PF brings here to stand as a candidate, they can go take Mugabe from the grave, put him here he would lose. We don’t want to talk about Mnangagwa, because he’s the most unpopular Zanu PF candidate we have ever seen anywhere.”
Sibanda also laughed off competition from other candidates.
The Zanu PF candidate, Munsaka, claimed there was too much fighting and hate language, coming from the opposition.
“The only problem we have in Binga North is tribalism that is fanned by the opposition CCC, which has nothing to offer to the people. It has nothing to use against the current Zanu PF candidate because of a clean history. They are using tribal statements that I am Shona regardless of the fact they know very well I am Tonga,” Munsaka said.
“Let’s not look for tribal differences but let’s look for an individual who can bring development in an area.”
Munsaka said although the opposition had dominated in the constituency over the years, the dynamics have changed.
“People have decided to suspend the parties, but are looking for an individual who can bring development and on that one, I seem to be leading. Basically, the opposition is losing grip in Binga North,” he said.
Munsaka claimed the CCC candidate’s hopes were fading because of his misdemeanours.
Munsaka added it was unfortunate some elements were committing criminal activities while campaigning.
“One of our key members had their car burnt down. We do not know who did this if it’s internal or the opposition. Although CCC launched its campaign they are not much visible. We are yet to launch ours but we are more visible,” he said.
For Binga North’s independent candidate, Munkuli, finances were a challenge as he acknowledged campaigning is a costly process.
“I managed to cover all areas through online media. Now, I am working on my second movement of distributing posters to each and every ward. So for now l am trying to budget for posters. Then lastly, I will go meeting people face to face,” Munkuli said.
Munkuli lamented that people expected to be given incentives by politicians, a problem that needed a change of mindset.
“The main problem with our people is they don’t vote if you don’t give them something. They are used to being given t-shirts, money and so forth for them to vote. They want instant solutions and they don’t care about the future,” he said.
“But my independent movement is against that, I don’t give people something for anything but I tell them what I will do for them once they vote for me that’s it. I’m convincing them and they are showing up.”
Another challenge cited by Munkuli was that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission did not have an online voting system for citizens who were abroad.
“They are far from voting areas and it’s expensive for someone to travel to and from just for voting so we might lose votes from those abroad. There must be an online voting system,” he said.