Stakeholders have expressed different views on whether the results from Saturday`s by-election results are a reliable reflection of the outcome of the 2023 harmonised elections.
The ruling party ZANU PF claimed nine parliament seats, including Epworth and Mutasa South, that previously were in the hands of the opposition, while Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) got 19 seats, and MDC Alliance failed to win any seat.
Speaking during a 98.4 Midlands FM current affairs program, “Inside Politics,” the Chairperson of a local think tank Munyati Development Strategies Costain Mukanganiki said political parties should not ignore the number of people who voted for them in the by-election results, as they reflected how they would perform in 2023.
“Politics is a game of numbers. There are numbers which matter in any political contestation and the numbers recorded in the 26 March by-election as they are of huge importance to all the political parties that contested in that election,” Mukanganiki said.
He said the narrow margin between the total number of people who voted for ZANU PF and its main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change showed that the latter was more popular with voters than the latter.
“If you look at ZANU PF that I said it gained because of its manifesto, two more seats (parliament seats) to those it retained, it got a total of 128 399 votes, when it won only 9 constituencies and Tripple C (CCC) won 19 constituencies and had 129 799 votes. This is a reflection of what is coming in 2023 (general elections),” said Mukanganiki.
He added that many people did not vote in the by-elections because they did not involve presidential polls.
But, David Chikore, the Executive Director of Gweru United Progressive Ratepayers Development Association Trust (GUPRADA) said the by-election results were not “an accurate reflection” of the outcome of next year`s polls.
“I want to differ on that because these (by-election) results are not an accurate reflection of what it will be like in 2023 because of several factors, probably ZANU PF actually achieved maximum penetration in reaching the number of votes it got. You find Gweru Urban has 25 000 people who voted and in Mkoba (constituency) about 17 000 people voted, such that when you count the number of those voted you would see that there are many who did not vote,” Chikore said.
Zimbabwe is set to go to the polls next year to elect local government, provincial councils, parliament and presidential representatives