OWEN MATAVA in Kwekwe
The people of Kwekwe and Mbizo Constituencies are set to cast their votes tommorow (Saturday) in parliamentary and local authorities by-elections which are likely to set the tone for the much talked about do or die 2023 harmonized elections expected in about 18 months time, midlandsnews can report.
28 parliamentary seats including Kwekwe and Mbizo aswell as 105 local government council seats are up for grabs in these by-elections. The seats became vacant due to recalls and deaths of representatives.
In Kwekwe Constituency, the battle for supremacy is between 4 candidates namely John “Seer 1” Mapurazi, Zanu PF, Judith Tobaiwa of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), MDC Alliance’, Mbekezeli Ndlovu and Tafadzwa Lenin Dzingire of the United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA).
A survey carried out by midlandsnews in Kwekwe Central shows that the race for the sole parliamentary ticket is wide open. All the 4 aspiring parliamentarians have the potential to grab the seat as no candidate proved to be more popular than the others.
In Mbizo Constituency, 5 candidates will fight it out for the single ticket to parliament and these are Lovemore Chibukwe of United Democratic Alliance (UDA), former Mbizo legislators in Vongaishe Mupereri, ZanuPF and Settlement Chikwinya of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). Gladys Mutunami of United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) and Eventhough Brave Mapfumo of MDC Alliance makeup the list.
However the real battle according to several media reports and analysis is between Mpereri and Chikwinya. Both candidates are popular with the electorate. All possess qualities of being elected.
Kwekwe fell vacant following the death of Masango Matambanadzo of the National Patriotic Front (NPF) in July 2020 while Mbizo Constituency was declared vacant following the recall of Settlement Chikwinya by his party PDP led by Tendai Biti.
A total of 5 local authorities seats are vacant within Kwekwe City Council and 14 candidates have successfully registered to contest.
The vacant wards are 5 and 12 in Mbizo Constituency while wards 8, 9 and 10 are in Kwekwe Central Constituency.
In Ward 5, businessman, Chirima Happyday of ZanuPF, former Deputy mayor, Melody Chingarande (CCC) and Munhutu Ringisai will contest for the councilorship while in Ward 12, former councilor, Washington Moyo (CCC) will fight it out against ZanuPF’, Kunyendu Farai.
A tight race has emerged in Ward 10 between former Mayor, Angeline Kasipo of CCC, seasoned politician and firebrand former councilor, Aron Gwalazimba and popular Zanu PF member, Tichaona Mlambo.
Makomborero Mlambo on a Zanu PF ticket, is in the race for councillorship of Ward 8 against youthful CCC’, Gwamuri Milton and MDC A’, Mapfumo Dadirai Christine.
In Ward 9, Madzore George of MDC A, Ngwenya Zimani of CCC and former footballer, Yunusu “Marawi” Phiri of ZanuPF will contest for the local authority seat.