The Nelson Chamisa-led main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party has shouldered blame on violence and coercive tactics employed by the ruling Zanu PF for its electoral loss in weekend by-elections.

The October 22 by-elections were precipitated by amplified violence in Matobo and Insiza districts where CCC supporters were physical assaulted by suspected Zanu PF thugs.

In one instance, Bulawayo Proportional Representation MP Jasmine Toffa (CCC) was severely injured while on a campaign trail and had to be hospitalised as a result of the violence.

Jasmine Toffa

And following their humiliating loss in the by-elections where the CCC won only a single ward out of the six wards at stake, the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition party has labelled violence and Zanu PF’s coercive tactics as the scapegoat.

The six wards which were up for grabs were in Mutare, Matobo, Guruve, Takawira, Buhera and Insiza.

“We are not surprised or saddened by the results of the six by-elections that happened over the weekend,” CCC deputy spokesperson Felix Magalela Sibanda told a private daily.

“Naturally we knew that Zanu PF had that strategy to come and disturb people a week before elections. These were not free and fair elections as they had elements of intimidation through violence. They use this tactic of intimidating people so that they are afraid to go and vote,” he said.

Despite the setbacks, Sibanda however hopes that the CCC would win the 2023 general elections resoundingly.

“Our membership has increased by 45%. We still have hope that come 2023 we are going to win these elections. These are just wards,” Sibanda added.