Freeman Chari, a US-based Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist, has said ZANU PF is interested in winning Epworth as it will possibly give it 3 constituencies in the 2023 elections through gerrymandering. He speaks as the ruling party won the Epworth constituency in the 26 March 2022 by-elections.
Responding to Hopewell’s Chin’ono who argued that ZANU PF rigged the election with the help of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by removing voters’ names from their polling stations, Chari said:
We explained this. I had a long call with Prez (CCC president Nelson Chamisa) talking specifically about Epworth last week. This was expected but what people are failing to grasp is why they targeted Epworth, Goromonzi, Harare South, Zvimba. I am going to explain this for the last time. It’s all abt 2023.
Epworth has wards 1-7 and a registered population of 71 000. In the 2023 delimitation, this one constituency is going to be 3 constituencies. Current Ward 1 and 3 are opposition strongholds. ZANU has inroads in ward 4,5,7. Chamisa won all wards but with varying margins
What @ZECzim did was mistakenly release a gerrymandered Voters’ Roll. They are recreating boundaries to favor ZANU in 2023. The goal is to split Epworth in a way that in 2023, ZANU will win 2 of the 3 constituencies. This applies to the other constituencies I mentioned
I believe Harare will have 12 more constituencies in 2023. Most will be in the constituencies I mentioned. This gerrymandering is also happening in other constituencies where ZANU thinks stands a chance. We will analyze more but as far as I can tell, this is where we are headed
This plan has been in play since the failure of Murambatsvina. Initially, they wanted to scatter urbanites back to rural areas. When that failed they started parcelling these peri-urban areas. In 2013 Epworth had had 35703 voters. They doubled these voters now.
The people that failed to vote yesterday are generally people that were moved in this gerrymandered VR. Let’s keep paying attention to Epworth. The next candidate should know where and how to campaign.
Again you will ask Why Epworth? ZANU is set to lose more constituencies in the 2023 delimitation. For Example, Gutu is probably going to be 3 constituencies instead of 5. Zaka is likely 3 instead of 4, Wedza, Chikomba, Mberengwa, Chiredzi are all ZANU constituencies at risk
If ZANU loses these constituencies, it has to pick them up somewhere. New constituencies will be more in urban centres but Matabeleland is also going to lose a number of them. So, in as much as people are interested in the NOW, please pay attention to the 2023.