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Zanu PF, CCC lock horns in Bulilima

News
Ward 1, 14 and 16 seats fell vacant following the resignation of two Zanu PF councillors Tony Mlotshwa (ward 1) and Ntungamili Dube (ward 14) and the death of Delani Mabhena (ward 16).

BY SILISIWE MABALEKA FIVE political parties are contesting in the Bulilima district by-elections for three vacant local government seats as they seek to test their popularity in Matabeleland South ahead of the 2023 elections.

Ward 1, 14 and 16 seats fell vacant following the resignation of two Zanu PF councillors Tony Mlotshwa (ward 1) and Ntungamili Dube (ward 14) and the death of Delani Mabhena (ward 16).

Zanu PF seeks to retain the seats in the polls contested by Zapu, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and little known People’s Patriotic Party (PPP) and Constitutional Generation for Change (CGC).

Matabeleland South Zanu PF provincial chairman Mangaliso Ndlovu said the party wanted to retain the seats, but expressed worry that the turnout may be poor due to voter apathy in past by-elections.

“The electorate is well informed and we want to encourage better participation and we are working hard on awareness as people don’t pay much to by-elections,” Ndlovu, who is also the Tourism and Environment minister said.

Matabeleland South CCC provincial chairperson, Solani Moyo said their campaign had been centred on exposing Zanu PF’s failures in the district, in particular underdevelopment.

“People have started to see that there is no improvement, hence it has dawned on them that it was a mistake to vote for Zanu PF,” Moyo said.

“People want to clearly show that they are tired. Given free and fair elections we are certain to win the elections,.

Moyo was quick to dismiss the unknown CGC and PPP as Zanu PF proxies to confuse the electorate and divide votes.

The CGC and PPP are only contesting in ward 1. Their officials could not be reached for comment.

Zapu spokesperson, Msongelwa Ndlovu said the party was the only alternative that will bring development in the district.

“We are set for the by elections, as a party one of our principal policies is to uplift rural communities which the Zanu PF led government has deliberately neglected so  as to continue giving them farm inputs and food hampers making them unable to survive on their own,” Ndlovu said.

Ward 1 candidates are Darlington Moyo (PPP), Ephraim Moyo (CCC), Cousam Ndlovu (Zanu PF) and Lingiwe Nyoni of the CGC.

Ward 14’s candidates are Experience Dube representing Zanu PF, Ephraim Moyo (CCC) and Moyo Linos (Zapu). In ward 16 there is Moyo Jane of Zanu PF, Ncube Hitman of Zapu, and Moyo Makhadi of CCC.