NEWLY elected Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Binga North parliamentarian Prince Dubeko Sibanda says his win was not against Zanu PF rival Siangoma Mudenda but President Emmerson Mnangagwa himself.
Sibanda said Mnangagwa had been at the forefront, fighting his return to parliament and directing government departments to kick-start “development” initiatives as a means of convincing the electorate not to vote for him.
He was recalled by the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T last year after pledging allegiance to CCC president Nelson Chamisa.
Sibanda bragged that his win was not just an ordinary victory.
“This campaign was not easy; firstly because it was a by-election very few come out for it and when competing against the ruling party it has a tendency of activating its whole machinery to fight you,” said Sibanda.
“People here had been seeing a lot of graders fixing roads, food being distributed almost twice a week. They were surprised.”
He added; “We saw Mnangagwa coming here; we saw his whole cabinet here.
“We even saw money exchanging hands and people being paid to declare that they could not vote and needed assistance.
“The Tonga people could not be bought. In short, I can say I was not competing against Mudenda, I was competing against Mnagagwa and I look forward to him coming back in 2023 so I can beat him again.”
CCC party leader Chamisa was barred from conducting a by-election campaign rally in Binga which was meant to drum up support for Sibanda under unclear circumstances.
Political Analyst Pride Mkono told NewZimbabwe.com that the by-election results had proved that Zimbabweans were now ready to punish undemocratic tendencies.
“The citizens have sent a strong message that if you indulge in the dark art of violence and intimidation they will dump you and vote overwhelmingly against you,” said Mkono.
“Citizens in areas where rallies were banned and opposition campaigns were made difficult by the ruling party have shown that they will not tolerate political chicanery and anyone who indulges in that will be doing so at their own expense.”