OPPOSITION leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday described Binga in Matabeleland North as a “yellow republic” after thousands of villagers turned up for a victory rally.
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Binga North MP Prince Dubeko-Sibanda retained the seat in the March by-elections despite Zanu PF having gone all out to grab the seat.
Binga has remained in the opposition for years, with the ruling Zanu PF deploying massive resources and other campaign machinery ahead of the by-elections to reverse the trend.
People in Binga have for years blamed the ruling party for the marginalisation and under-development of the district.
“Binga is a yellow republic. I am so humbled. Massive support at this citizens victory celebration rally,” Chamisa said as he thanked villagers, some of whom had walked kilometres to attend the rally.
“You are the headquarters of change because you voted overwhelmingly across the whole country. Zanu PF is going out, CCC is going in.”
Zanu PF has set sights on winning Binga in the 2023 polls, unveiling a basket of development programmes to win the support of the marginalised community.
But Chamisa said vote buying would not work in Binga.
“Zanu PF came to buy you, but you refused to be bought. Zanu PF has no solution to our problems because it is the problem itself,” Chamisa said.
“We have no money in the country and we are using tissues and leaves.
“I have come here because I have heard that the whole country is saying Ngaapinde hake Mukomana (let him in)
“Elephants that are pestering you here and fish should benefit you. Fishing licences should not be given to people in Harare, but to you.”
Before the by-elections, Mnangagwa handed bicycles to traditional leadership structures at a rally held at Siabuwa business centre.
In April, President Emmerson Mnangagwa pampered Binga traditional leaders with fishing rigs in a follow-up rally to drum up support after the March by-elections.
Cabinet has okayed a number of major projects for Binga such as the construction of schools, clinics, roads, a nursing school among many others.
Meanwhile, Chamisa said Zanu PF supporters allegedly barred him from paying his last respects at the funeral of the late Chief Mabhikwa in Lupane yesterday morning fearing he would ‘steal the show.’
“I wanted to pay my condolences to the Mabhikwa family because I knew him from Parliament.
“I knew him as a progressive man, but Zanu PF people were frightened,” he said.
“They said when Chamisa is allowed in, people were not going to pay attention to the funeral proceedings, and were going to be over excited.”
Mabhikwa passed away last week in a car accident.