by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ONE of the latest entrants in Zimbabwean politics will not be participating in next month by-elections.
Rather, the Zimbabwe African National Congress (ZANC) is focusing on the bigger picture, which is general polls set for next year.
“We are more focused on the 2023 elections,” said Timothy Mncube, ZANC President.
He was speaking in an exclusive interview with CAJ News Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“We are still a young party and we do not want to over burden ourselves at this moment,” Mncube added.
He said the party, formed in 2021, was vetting senatorial candidates for next year’s harmonised polls.
“I believe we will be fielding them too,” Mncube said.
The party leader dismissed sentiments ZANC was only campaigning in South Africa, where he is based but insisted the party advocated for a Diaspora vote.
The vote is emotive in Zimbabwean politics and is opposed to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), which allegedly fears resentment by Diasporans that have left the country after years of alleged misrule.
ZANU-PF however argues it cannot campaign abroad because of sanctions slapped on its officials.
“ZANC is a party on the ground in Zimbabwe,” Mncube said.
“We did target some Diaspora assistance in terms of helping us fund our campaigns. Those who believe we are only targeting Diaspora votes should follow us at home (Zimbabwe) and see the work being done there.”
Mncube said ZANC election campaigns have been “great” thus far and unaffected by the usual violence preceding polls in the Southern African nation.
“We have had a few rallies which have had a great turnout. We are busy preparing for other campaigns which will be very different from the kind of campaigns we are used to seeing,” Mncube told CAJ News Africa.
After the last general election in 2018, soldiers shot dead several opposition supporters angered by the slow release of results as incumbent, Emmerson Mnangagwa eventually won the presidential poll.
Some citizens were caught in the crossfire in the capital, Harare.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has however confirmed 16 political parties, including ZANU-PF, would contest the 26th March by-elections.
Among others are Nelson Chamisa’s new Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), longtime opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-Alliance), Free Zimbabwe Congress, All People’s Party (APP), Democratic Opposition (DOP), Federation of African State, Labour, Economists and African Democrats.
Others comprise MA’AT Zimbabwe, New Patriotic Front (NPF), Patriotic Zimbabweans, Republican Party of Zimbabwe, United Democratic Alliance and United Zimbabwe Alliance.
– CAJ News