Zimbabweans will on March 26 go to by-elections to fill in 28 parliamentary and over 120 council seats that have fallen vacant over the past two years.
Political parties have since moved up their campaign gears ahead of the mini polls
President Emmerson Mnangagwa will on Saturday address a campaign rally for the ZANU-PF Binga North candidate, Kudakwashe Munsaka in Siabuwa, Binga.
He is also expected to launch and handover fishing rigs to local chiefs, women and youths at Binga centre on the same day.
Five candidates are vying for Binga North constituency: Peggy Mudimba -MDC Alliance, Munsaka, Clive Muzamba – United Democratic Alliance, Prince Dubeko Sibanda – Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and an independent Disciple Munkuli.
The seat fell vacant following Sibanda’s recall by the MDC-T in 2020 accusing him of defecting to the MDC Alliance.
“Reading into past records since the turn of the new millennium, ZANU-PF is unlikely to win in Binga, ” said Vusumuzi Chirwa, a political analyst.
“There is nothing meaningful to convince the people of Binga to vote otherwise this time around. People of Binga are by comparison to other tribes the poorest of all, and they squarely blame that on the ruling party, hence I don’t see the Binga voting table being turned around this time because the people of Binga are protest voters.
He added: “ZANU PF has to fulfil its 1980-2018 promises which it made to the people of Binga in order to attract their votes.”
Mkhululi Tshuma, a political commentator said ZANU-PF’s chances are slim in Binga.
“There are very slim chances of ZANU-PF winning the Binga North by-election,” he said.
“This is simply because nothing has changed in the marginalisation of the area. It is still the citadel of underdevelopment. Binga people are yet to enjoy the fruits of Uhuru 42 years after independence. Binga is still suffering neglect and the blame lies squarely on ZANU-PF.”
Tshuma further explained: “It’s difficult to see how people that have protested the marginalisation of their area since the turn of the millennium can suddenly have profound love for the author of their misery. That would be impossible. Without any meaningful development of their area by the current ZANU-PF government, it would be impossible for the people of Binga to suddenly love Zanu PF. They have given up on ZANU-PF and its government. They are hoping to try another government.”
For ZANU-PF to win in Binga, Tshuma said, the party must deliberately fight the underdevelopment of the area.
“They must introduce meaningful development programmes, not the so-called fishery programme that was even mocked by the chiefs of the area. It’s only a serious developmental programme brought to the area that may turn the hearts of the people there. All other pies in the sky kind of programmes have failed and will continue to fail.”
Sipho Nyoni, another political analyst said he does not foresee ZANU-PF winning in Binga North.
“No, I don’t see the people of Binga voting for ZANU-PF this time around because one has to ask what has changed,” said Nyoni.
“The same underdevelopment that Binga has known for years still characterises Binga. It’s a neglected region that only comes alive to these political types whenever there is an election. Poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunities are the banes of Binga so definitely, the people will not vote for ZANU-PF but for the CCC which is currently riding on the crest of a wave given the support it currently attracts especially in any area of Matabeleland.”
He said ZANU-PF should be serious about the development of Binga if it wants to be voted in that part of the country.
“Binga is perhaps the most underdeveloped area in Matabeleland if not the whole of Zimbabwe,” said Nyoni.
“The issues to be dealt with in attracting any voter in any part or region of the country can never be applied or implemented at election time but during the period in between. Binga is crying out for development. What ZANU-PF needed to do was build more and better schools, improve the infrastructure in the area, create job opportunities for the population of Binga as well as attract investors within the tourism industry Binga also prides itself in.”