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Monday, June 5, 2023

2022: a year of political consolidation

Story by Bruce Chahwanda, Political Editor

The curtain comes down on an eventful political year during which the ruling ZANU PF held a successful elective Congress while the main opposition MDC-T had its low-key congress.

However, the Citizens Coalition for Change outfit continued to wobble without any structures.

It was indeed a year of mixed fortunes for the country’s major political parties, as some split, while others united with some playing the brinkmanship game, even as the 2023 harmonised elections beckon.

Early in the year, by-elections were held on the 26th of March to fill vacancies that had arisen in 28 constituencies, with ZANU PF making inroads into opposition strongholds after snatching key constituencies.

On an even political landscape, ZANU PF, Triple C, MDC-T and other political parties took their programmes to the people canvassing for support.

However, the Triple C hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons as violence dominated most if not all their events.

With the biggest by-elections in the history of the country looming, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission launched a voter registration blitz in February meant to guide the country’s delimitation process for the 2023 harmonised elections.

Come March 26, sixteen political parties took part in the electoral process and ZANU PF gained seats in the previously opposition-dominated constituencies.

While political parties were celebrating their victories, 2022 being an elective year for the ruling party, a youth elective conference was held ushering in a new leadership to steer the voter mobilisation drive.

After the youth conference, ZANU PF Women’s League reinvigorated itself through a conference which was also graced by the Presidium.

The major highlight of the year for ZANU PF was the creation of War Veterans League as a wing of the party which was spiced up by a conference where the organ’s structures were set up.

In between the strengthening of the party, ZANU PF President and First Secretary, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa continued to engage party supporters across the country and commissioned mega projects meant to improve livelihoods.

At the same time, by-elections were held in Gokwe-Kabuyuni in August and ZANU PF edged the opposition in that race, consolidating its position as the most popular political party in the country.

ZANU PF’s Elective Congress came in October completing the colossal revolutionary party’s restructuring exercise ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.

In November, a Commonwealth delegation led by Assistant Secretary General Luis Franschesci visited Zimbabwe as part of the assessment for the country’s readmission into the club. The delegation met key stakeholders and left satisfied.

In the same month, there were by-elections at ward level where ZANU PF won big by widening the gap in rural wards.

The ruling party also made a bold statement in urban wards by claiming victory while closing the gap in some of the wards.

MDC-T held its congress on the 18th of December as a way of strengthening its party structures ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.

To cap the year 2022, ZANU PF President and First Secretary Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a new politburo which is a fusion of young blood, party stalwarts and vibrant women to guide the party to victory next year.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission also submitted their preliminary Delimitation Report to President Mnangagwa as the country gears for the 2023 harmonised elections.

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