BY PROBLEM MASAU
OPPOSITION Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) heavyweights are reportedly jockeying for “safe” seats in the cities ahead of the 2023 general elections after the Nelson Chamisa-led party scored big in urban constituencies in recent by-elections.
CCC bagged 19 of the 28 seats in its maiden electoral contest on March 26, while Zanu PF got nine. The opposition party also got 75 of the 122 contested local authority seats, with Zanu PF taking the remainder.
Zanu PF has struggled in urban constituencies, making them a safe haven for opposition politicians who dread contesting in rural areas.
NewsDay learnt that there is a simmering war in Epworth, where the CCC district chairperson Damson Damson stands accused of undermining party candidate Earthrage Kureva in the by-elections to boost his 2023 parliamentary chances.
Damson told NewsDay that he wanted to contest in the 2023 polls.
“We don’t want him (Kureva), we never liked him here. I am eyeing that seat for 2023,” Damson said.
So intense was the enmity between the two that Kureva had to bring outside election agents fearing that local ones would be influenced by Damson to rig in favour of Zanu PF candidate Zalerah Makari.
CCC interim foreign affairs secretary Gladys Hlatywayo is reportedly eyeing the Harare Central seat, which she is expecting to wrest from Murisi Zwizwai, who has been the MP for the area since 2003.
Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya has been doing the bidding for Hlatywayo on Twitter.
“Enter Hlatywayo of CCC. She promises to rock Harare Central, whose opposition vote has been in sharp decline to pitch it at more than 30 000 for Nelson Chamisa if the CCC chooses her as their MP for 2023,” Ruhanya tweeted.
CCC interim spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere is said to have set her eyes on the Mt Pleasant constituency which she lost in 2018 to MDC Alliance’s Samuel Banda after she contested as an independent candidate.
Repeated efforts to contact Mahere were fruitless yesterday.
Miriam Matinenga is also said to have set sight on a seat in Buhera and the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s son Richard is contemplating to contest the Norton seat, which is currently occupied by independent MP Temba Mliswa.
The jostling for seats comes at a time when the CCC party is barely three months old, without structures and a constitution.