Just ended by-elections exposes People First to be a creation of the media.

The outcome of the just ended by-elections showed that the so-called People First project linked to sacked former vice president Dr Joice Mujuru is a creation of the media which does not have support on the ground as evidenced by the heavy trouncing its candidates received in the just-ended by-elections that saw Zanu-PF clinching all the 16 seats on offer.

Even Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, who claimed to be leader of the original Zapu, failed to win in Bulawayo province even in the absence of the MDC-T which has dominated the province since the turn of the millennium.

Political experts said the results exposed the private media, showing it was out of sync with the reality all around it, a reality that was picked up by a foreign pollster, Afrobarometer, which found President Mugabe enjoyed massive support throughout the country and that trust for the opposition had plummeted.
Sacked former vice president Dr Joice Mujuru
The Afrobarometer survey was vindicated by the results of the just-ended by-elections.

Zanu-PF registered its biggest victory in Tsholotsho North, where Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo garnered 11 695 against his rivals and independent candidates Busani Ncube and Gertrude Sibanda who polled 91 and 38 votes respectively.

In Hurungwe West, where Mr Temba Mliswa was the poster-boy for the Mujuru project, notwithstanding the backing from MDC-T, got 4 239 against Zanu-PF candidate Cde Keith Guzah’s 5 961 votes.

Mliswa was riding on MDC-T vote that, however, failed to take him back to Parliament.

He had literally become self-styled spokesperson of the project, holding Press conferences at the Media Centre in Harare every week.

In Dangamvura-Chikanga in Manicaland, Cde Esau Mupfumi polled 6 376 votes to beat seven other candidates who got paltry votes. Political analyst Mr Goodwine Mureriwa said Zanu-PF’s political future was bright judging by the result.

“The by-elections have a lot of bearing in terms of future politics of the country. It means that the ruling party’s support base is increasing. In 2018 Zanu-PF is going to win because MDC-T has lost seats in its stronghold,”he said.

“People First is a shy political party failing to launch a fully fledged outfit.”
Mr Mureriwa said the private media failed to read developments that Zanu-PF had been slowly moving into Harare.

“In 2008, Zanu-PF only had won one seat, Harare South. In 2013, Zanu-PF got six seats and it has now won six more to make them 12. What it means is the MDC is losing ground and Zanu-PF is always prepared for polls and a win.”

Political scientist Professor Charity Manyeruke said People First was a stillborn project.

“The by-election results showed that People First has nothing to drive home. It has not been clear, it lacked transparency, it has no structures. It is made up of failures in terms of political organisation.

“The support of independent candidates was insignificant, they were voted for by family members and friends,” said Prof Manyeruke.

On Zapu, Prof Manyeruke said people in Bulawayo had demonstrated that they did not want separatist movements.

Another analyst, Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya, said the by-elections outcome revealed that Zanu-PF and the MDC-T were the dominant political forces.

Dr Ruhanya said if the revolutionary party addressed issues to do with people’s livelihoods, the MDC-T would fall into extinction.

He said the challenge now was on Zanu-PF to formalise the informal economy in urban areas to get more voter confidence.

Media lecturer Mr Wellington Gadzikwa, said the loss by People First showed that they would not make any impact in 2018.

“The results showed that Zapu is of no substance and People First is just a creation of the media,” said Dr Ruhanya.

“The entry of Zanu-PF in urban areas of Bulawayo and Harare, which is the first to happen since 2000 means the ruling party can entrench itself in these constituencies. This will eventually become a mammoth task for the MDC-T to reclaim these seats in the next election,” he said.

“These projects called political parties have died a natural death as they have failed to win even one seat.

“It proved that the electorate had no confidence in them,” he said.

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