Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF Party Triumphs: A New Era or a Tightening Grip?

A Political Power Play in Zimbabwe

by Motoni Olodun

In a significant political development, Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has emerged victorious in all six parliamentary by-elections held on Saturday. This victory has further consolidated its power, granting it a two-thirds majority in parliament.

The triumph has bestowed President Emmerson Mnangagwa with the authority to amend key provisions in the constitution. Critics from the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) argue that this could potentially enable him to strengthen his hold on power.

These by-elections were necessitated after a man, whom the CCC labels an imposter, instigated the recall of some of its MPs. Despite losing the general election last August, the CCC had secured over 100 of the 280 seats in the National Assembly, thereby preventing Zanu-PF from achieving a super-majority.

However, the political landscape changed dramatically when Sengezo Tshabangu, a relatively unknown figure in Zimbabwe, wrote to the parliamentary speaker alleging that some CCC MPs had “ceased to be members of the party”. The then-party leader, Nelson Chamisa, dismissed Mr. Tshabangu as a fraud and urged the speaker to disregard the letter. His pleas fell on deaf ears as the speaker declared vacancies in the constituencies.

The recent by-elections are the second set to be held following Mr Tshabangu’s contentious intervention. Last month, Mr Chamisa resigned from the CCC, a party he had established just two years ago, accusing Zanu-PF of infiltrating it. He claimed that the CCC had been “contaminated” and “hijacked” by the government, vowing to steer clear of “sewer politics”.

In a show of solidarity, two lawmakers have since resigned from parliament, which will necessitate further by-elections. President Mnangagwa, who assumed power in 2017 after a bloodless coup ousted long-time leader Robert Mugabe, was initially viewed as a beacon of change and hope for the struggling country. However, Zimbabwe continues to grapple with high inflation, unemployment, and censorship.

Despite the controversy surrounding the by-elections, the results have granted Zanu-PF a super-majority. Yet, as Zimbabwe navigates these turbulent political waters, there remains a glimmer of hope. The resilience of its people and their unwavering desire for change may yet steer the nation towards a brighter, more democratic future.

Source: BBC News


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