By Umamah Bakharia
On 26 March, Zimbabwe will hold its first by-elections in a year to fill 133 vacancies. These vacancies comprise 28 parliamentary seats and 105 council seats that stem from recalls, deaths and dismissals.
This is because the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance has split into different groups, they are contesting for possession of the seats alongside the ruling, Zanu PF.
Speaking to Radio Islam, journalist and researcher based in Zimbabwe, Tendai Marima says that the country will be voting for “selective constituencies.”
Marima predicts that this election will have a fairly decent turnout.
“I think these are elections that have been delayed because the government has sighted issues like covid, what also helped these elections to gain attention is the rise of Nelson Chamisa’s [party] Citizens Coalition for Change,” says Marima.
Meanwhile, amongst those in attendance for a Zanu PF’s rally at St Mary’s Chitungwiza, East of Harare was Robert Junior Mugabe, son of the late former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who has come out in support of Zanu PF.
“I thought I should come and support the party… it’s a family tradition. Since I was born, all I knew was Zanu PF,” Robert Junior, 30, told journalists at the rally.
However, Marima argues that we should question who Robert Junior is acting in the interest of.
“Is he acting in the interest of those [Mugabe] comrades or is he just seeking simply to protect his family’s interest or is there something else that we shall see that will emerge?'” says Marima.
The by-elections have been long overdue since 2020 when it was scheduled to take place.