President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ZANU PF party are targetting to reclaim urban local authority and parliamentary seats currently held by the opposition.
The majority of urban seats are held by the MDC Alliance and Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) parties which opposition leader Nelson Chamisa led in the 2018 general elections and 2022 by-elections respectively.
ZANU PF and the opposition blame each other for the collapse and poor service delivery in urban councils.
On Saturday, Mnangagwa addressed ZANU PF supporters and opposition defectors at an event dubbed “Huyai Kumusha, Come Home, Buyani Ekhaya, Muze Kumuzi: We heard the call. We voluntarily came, Adding Value to Nation Building.”
Speaking at the event held at the Harare International Conference Centre on Saturday, Mnangagwa said:
It’s through our revolutionary mass party that the concerns of our people can be addressed.
We must take back the local authority and parliamentary seats which are in the hands of the opposition.
We remain a national political party, a people’s party deeply rooted in advancing the will and aspirations of the people.
The party remains a dominant and popular force, which is forever committed to wholeheartedly serve.
Mnangagwa took the opportunity to parade the late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s brother, Collins, and other former opposition members who defected to ZANU PF.
Political analyst Effie Ncube told NewsDay that Tsvangirai’s defection to ZANU PF is of little consequence. Said Ncube:
This doesn’t mean much and it’s unlikely that any of them has a significant following to tilt the wider electoral scales across the country. However, it is not good optics for the opposition.
They should address what is causing some people to lose faith in the change agenda. Every person matters.
For the ruling party, this is a propaganda bonus that it will use to the fullest extent. So is politics.
You take advantage of small setbacks on your opponent and sound the horn.