SATURDAY’s by-elections, if taken as a dry run to the 2023 harmonised general elections, have shown that the combined variants of the MDC, CCC included, are still no match for the revolutionary ZANU PF.
Nobody familiar with the Zimbabwean political landscape can be fooled into believing that the CCC, a metamorphosed version of the MDC Alliance, is a new party.
Of the 28 Parliamentary seats contested on March 26, the opposition led by Nelson Chamisa’s CCC won 21 in the 2018 harmonised general elections.
ZANU PF won seven of them in the same plebiscites.
Results on March 26 last week indicate that if this trend continues, the Western-backed CCC will be trounced by ZANU PF in the 2023 harmonised general elections.
In the first place, the CCC lost two seats.
And those two seats were snatched by non-other than ZANU PF.
But what should be more worrying for CCC is that the Western-sponsored outfit seems to be losing its foothold in urban constituencies, its traditional stronghold.
On the other hand, ZANU PF appears to be strengthening its grip in rural areas.
And, of course, that is also their traditional stronghold.
The capturing of Epworth from CCC by ZANU PF is ample evidence of how the ruling Party is narrowing the rural-urban divide.
To rub salt to the wounded ambition of the opposition, ZANU PF also showed it was even strengthening its rural grip by snatching Mutasa South from the Western-backed CCC.
The two additional seats gained by ZANU PF have pushed its parliamentary seats to147, thereby cementing its two thirds majority.
The voting figures also paint a grim picture for the MDC variant.
With most of the seats contested being CCC urban strongholds, the total number of votes cast for the Chamisa-led party in the 19 constituencies they won was 129 799.
ZANU PF, with only a few rural strongholds, polled 128 399 votes in the nine constituencies they won.
If we were to project this on a national scale, with all ZANU PF strongholds involved, CCC could lose by a very wide margin.
The reason for CCC’s poor showing is simple.
ZANU PF, through its well organised structures, had a lot to show related to what it had achieved since the advent of the Second Republic.
Revamped roads, boreholes, dams, Pfumvudza Programme, Robert Mugabe International Airport expansion, a new capital, chicken projects, cattle projects and the list goes on, were there for all to see.
On the other hand, the CCC had no programme to sell to the electorate.
Without any policy, leadership or structures, the CCC tended to rely on personalities and not the worthiness of the party.
This was evident by their effort to try to elevate Chamisa to the level of a cult hero.
The gamble failed.
Election results are decided by those who vote and not necessarily those who attend rallies.
Chamisa’s rallies drew some impressive crowds.
What attracted the crowds was probably curiosity to hear what the so-called ‘new’ party had to offer.
The result was disappointing.
It was the same old story about his ability to woo whites back into the country as he addressed the expectant crowds.
There was nothing about the deteriorating state of towns and cities run by his councillors for the past 20 years.
Not a word was murmured about the need to have the illegal sanctions scrapped.
Instead, he sounded quite happy trying to draw political capital out of the suffering of the people from the illegal US sanctions.
Chamisa remains stuck in the American corner, apparently oblivious of the plight of his people brought about by sanctions.
For heaven’s sake, we don’t want another Volodymyr Zelensky in this part of the world.