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‘By-elections gave citizens chance to say they trust and believe in Chamisa’ – Mahere

The main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) believes that the 2022 by-elections were a litmus test that ultimately proved that ‘citizens trust and believe in the party leader Nelson Chamisa’.

CCC was formed in January by Chamisa and his team after dumping the MDC Alliance, the party that they campaigned under in 2018, after Douglas Mwonzora through the help of the Zanu-PF government had grabbed MPs, funds, properties and MPs.

At its primitive stage, the newly established political party became the biggest opposition organization after it secured 19 of the 28 contested parliamentary seats and 75 seats in 122 municipalities at the March 26 by-elections.

The unexpected success effectively made Chamisa hopeful for a swift victory for next year’s general elections.

But the ruling Zanu-PF party on Saturday won the contested Rural District Council seat in Mutasa Ward 6.

The Emmerson Mnangagwa led party won the seat with a huge margin as it got 70.7% of the votes against its rival CCC which got 28.3%.

The seat was previously won by the MDC Alliance in 2018.

Against this background, CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere thanked the electorate that supported CCC in the entire by-election period.

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She added that the focus now would be the upcoming 2023 harmonised general elections. Chamisa is set to face Mnangagwa in the ballot.

“We thank the hundreds of citizens who voted for the yellow baby in yesterday’s Mutasa North by-election. You proved beyond doubt that the CCC is grounded in communities and is the only credible alternative to Zanu-PF. It’s undeniable that 2023 will be a 2-horse race,” she said.

“We thank all polling agents, mobilizers and change champions for their strong effort in difficult circumstances. President Nelson Chamisa said at the start of the year that we’d use the by-elections to test the ground, sharpen our tools and prepare for the main event in 2023.

“The CCC has won over 60% of by-elections conducted since our birth on 24 Jan 2022.”

Mahere accused Zanu-PF of plotting to destroy the CCC but had failed.

“Zanu-PF thought they’d destroyed us. They thought that by now, Zimbabwe would be an effective one party state with an opposition they control. Yet the citizens are still standing.

“We know by-elections don’t grip the nation the same way a general election does because citizens ultimately want an answer to the national question,” she added.

Mahere further stated that the main opposition was now focusing on winning the 2023 elections.

“Notwithstanding, these by elections have given citizens the chance to say they trust and believe in their yellow baby.

“We are now focused on winning the Presidential election, a two thirds majority in Parliament, clean sweeps in urban municipalities and a majority in rural municipalities. No matter how hard they try, Zanu-PF can’t ban hope or stop political change whose time has come,” she said.