CAMPAIGNING for the vacant Pelandaba-Tshabalala constituency in Bulawayo ahead of the February 3, 2024 by-elections is in full swing with candidates eyeing the seat confident of emerging victorious.
The seat fell vacant following the recall of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Gift Siziba by the party’s self-proclaimed interim secretary-general, Sengezo Tshabangu.
Siziba was recalled alongside 17 other legislators including CCC interim organising secretary Amos Chibaya on allegations that they had ceased to be party members.
Abraham Yona of the Democratic Opposition Party, Tembo Moreblessing (CCC Tshabangu) and Joseph Tshuma from Zanu PF are eyeing the seat.
Tshuma is a former legislator for the constituency.
Siziba told Southern Eye that their campaign teams were on the ground soliciting for votes.
“We just finished assembling our teams from three wards to kick-start our campaign,” Siziba said.
“It will be a peer to peer, person to person campaign. We do not operate on the basis of fear of recalls.
“We will fight because we operate on the basis of a clear ideological disposition informed by the agenda to bring change for the country.”
Tshabangu threatened to block Siziba from contesting for the seat under the CCC banner saying he has long ceased to be a party member.
He blocked several CCC aspiring legislators from contesting in the December 9 by-elections.
Zanu PF Bulawayo spokesperson, Archibald Chiponda, said the party was confident of winning.
“Our campaign machine has always been running since the harmonised elections. We are confident of winning back the constituency,” Chiponda said.
“Our candidate is a seasoned candidate having been a former MP for the area.”
Tshabangu’s spokesperson Khalipani Pugheni said the patry’s candidate was also busy campaigning.
“He is on the ground campaigning. We will join him after the holidays,” said Pugheni.
Efforts to get a comment from Tembo and Tshuma were futile as their mobile phone numbers were not reachable.
Some CCC supporters have called on Chamisa to withdraw all the legislators from Parliament to protest the recalls.
The party has not made a decision on the matter.
CCC won 73 of the 210 contested seats. One seat was not contested following the death of one of the candidates before the elections.
The seat was later won by Zanu PF.