ZANU PF 2023 presidential candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa says he is very confident the ruling party will snatch all parliamentary and local council seats that were won by MDC Alliance MPs and councillors in 2018.
Zimbabwe is set to hold by-elections for seats that fell vacant following the recall of MDC Alliance MPs and councillors.
A few other seats became vacant following the deaths of the sitting MPs and councillors.
The by-elections are expected to be held before next April after Mnangagwa had postponed them as a measure to halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters in Gokwe, Midlands provides, Mnangagwa said the MDC Alliance was a “fragmenting” opposition that offered no meaningful challenge to the governing party in both next year’s by-elections and the 2023 national polls.
Mnangagwa is expected to contest the 2023 presidential election with MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in a do-or-die battle. He will be seeking his second, and final term.
The Zimbabwean leader narrowly won the 2018 presidential elections against his main rival Chamisa.
However, Mnangagwa downplayed the expected bruising battle in 2023 claiming opposition parties were busy fighting each other.
“You have seen how the opposition MDC is fighting each other. Chamisa now has his faction while (Douglas) Mwonzora has his own faction. You saw how they started to recall each other from Parliament and local councils. A lot of people have been recalled triggering by-elections,” he told party supporters.
“Sometime next year we are going to have by-elections. In these coming by-elections, we need a landslide victory. We must win these elections resoundingly as they will be a highlight of the events to come in 2023. We must win the by-elections before the 2023 elections come.”
Mnangagwa also urged Zanu PF supporters to register to vote ahead of the elections.
“Let us all be registered to vote. In Matebeleland North province, we realised there are some people without any documentation and as the government, we are saying everyone must get identification documents.”
Mnangagwa also strongly warned non-governmental organisations (NGOs) against engaging in political activities and ordered them to stick to their constitutional mandates.
“If NGOs operate outside the confines of the law or outside their mandate they will get in trouble. Going forward, local authorities will not give authorisation to NGOs without the express approval of provincial ministers.
“The government before approving the operations of the NGOs will first vet them to see if they are genuine or not, or whether we need them or not,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa was in Gokwe district to launch the government’s agricultural input scheme Pfumvunza/Intwasa.