Zimbabwe’s ruling party clinches two thirds majority after by-election clean sweep

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HARARE – Zanu PF won all six National Assembly by-elections held on Saturday to secure a two thirds majority, with which it can now amend the constitution.

Zanu PF candidates won in Pelandaba Tshabalala, Chegutu West, Goromonzi South, Zvimba East, Mkoba North and Seke – all seats which were won by the Citizens Coalition for Change in general elections last August.

Sengezo Tshabangu, who declared himself interim secretary general of the CCC and recalled several party lawmakers with support from Zanu PF’s Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda, triggered the by-elections, and then made sure the recalled lawmakers were barred from the by-elections by obtaining a court order. Some stood as independents and lost.

Zanu PF, which needed just three seats to reach two thirds majority, now has 190 seats in the 280-member National Assembly.

The party had failed to garner the two-thirds majority during the general elections, getting 136 of the 209 National Assembly seats contested, while the CCC got 73 seats.

Zanu PF was desperate for a two-thirds majority which allows it to make constitutional amendments.

Reports say the Zanu PF leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, harbours pland to scrap constitutional term limits but legal experts say he faces many obstacles, including a requirement for the amendment to go to a public referendum. Even then, the constitution says the amendment cannot benefit an incumbent. – ZimLive