Zim’s ruling party now even stronger

Henry

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party now has a two-thirds majority in parliament. This means that the party can amend this country’s constitution and pres. Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule extended.

The party swept with votes in the parliamentary by-election held in the country on Saturday, winning the majority of votes in all six constituencies.

In addition, six members of parliament from the opposition party were dismissed after a political stunt by this party was condemned as fraud.

Rodney Kiwa, chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, told AFP the elections went well.

It was the second time Zimbabwe has held parliamentary by-elections since the start of a political crisis that has rocked the opposition and may now cement 81-year-old Mnangagwa’s rule.

Analysts and opposition activists warn that ZANU-PF may now use its supermajority – of 190 seats out of a total of 280 and two vacant seats – to remove a two-term limit on the presidency and allow Mnangagwa to stand again.

Two seats in parliament are vacant after a self-proclaimed interim secretary-general of the opposition, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Sengezo Tshabangu, orchestrated the recall of six of the party’s MPs.

Opposition supporters attacked the move, maintaining that Tshabangu is a ZANU-PF puppet, imposed on the party simply to disrupt it and establish a ruling party majority to ensure Mnangagwa’s rule.

“The ruling party has shown that nothing will stop its pursuit of a one-party state and an all-powerful president,” said Obert Masaraure, spokesperson for the civil group, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.

ZANU-PF has long denied having anything to do with Tshabangu and rejects claims that it aims to create a one-party state.

When general elections were last held, ZANU-PF had 10 seats short of the two-thirds majority in parliament.