Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) interim chairperson in Matabeleland North Province, Prince Dubeko Sibanda, says ZANU PF’s victory in the Tsholotsho South constituency in the 26 March by-elections does not indicate politics is shifting in favour of the ruling party in the Matabeleland region.
ZANU-PF candidate Musa Ncube won the Tsholotsho South by-election with 4 758 votes.
The CCC’s candidate, Tapson Nganunu polled 2 878, Leonard Mthombeni (ZAPU) received 868 votes, while Bongani Moyo (Independent) garnered 155 votes.
Sibanda, who is the designated MP for Binga North, attributed the opposition’s loss in Tsholotsho South to poor messaging and its absence on the ground.
Speaking during a Twitter space on By-Election Results and Matabeleland Voting patterns on Thursday evening, Sibanda said:
In my view, I don’t believe Matabeleland is shifting ground. What is missing is the messaging. We need to get down to the people.
Why is Tsholotsho voting for ZANU-PF, when it was the epicentre of Gukurahundi?
When we talk about Gukurahundi, the front runners who were mostly involved are Emmerson Mnangagwa and (Constantino) Chiwenga.
Now understand why they never touched down in Tsholotsho, they couldn’t go there but had to send (Kembo) Mohadi who became the sacrificial lamb, to appear before tents as no people attended his meetings.
Why did they not go to Tsholotsho South? It’s because they know they have issues with the people of Matabeleland.
Sibanda said the party failed to use the same strategy in Tsholotsho South that paid dividends in Binga North which CCC won despite ZANU PF despatching its big guns to the constituency. He said:
We didn’t mobilise enough. What people of Matabeleland lack is the messaging and the information. This is about the leadership getting down to the ground.
In Binga North, we went to the ground, to almost every village, at each polling station where we had 20 volunteers that were spreading messages to say we are fighting against this.
In Binga, we made sure we activated supporters and shared information to say, ‘this is why you are supposed to vote’ because of that we were able to win.
I believe if we do that to the rest of Matabeleland, I am telling you there is no way ZANU PF can get any constituency or any ward in Matabeleland.