Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates are set to battle each other in several local authority by-elections February next year in yet another caricature of the country’s electoral system.

For example, in the Chegutu Ward 5 municipal election, CCC candidates Gloria Kawadza and Alice Kundhlande are both set to contest each other in the poll with Zanu PF’s Alice Mavetera being their other opponent.

In Ward 9 Chegutu Municipal poll, CCC candidates Pamela Ngaru and Loice Tigirigi with both contest the poll together with a Zanu PF candidate and an independent.

In Ward 9 Chinhoyi, CCC candidates Nicholas Phiri and Ninion Varandeni will battle it out together with Zanu PF’s Edward Besu as their other opponent.

Fielding of double candidates continues in Chinhoyi Ward 12, Chitungwiza Ward 7, Chitungwiza Ward 21, Gweru Ward 11, Kwekwe Ward 9, Marondera Ward 8, Marondera Ward 10, Mutare Ward 5, Mutare Ward 8 and Mutare Ward 12.

Fielding of double candidates follows recent recalls ordered on both parliamentary and local authority elected opposition representatives by self-styled CCC interim secretary general Sengezo Tshabangu in what has triggered by-elections.

Tshabangu has fielded his own candidates to take part in the polls while the Nelson Chamisa led CCC has also defiantly deployed the ousted representatives to try and recover their seats through the by-elections.

Both CCC sides are using Chamisa’s face as their logo with ballot papers set to bear the opposition leader’s image when they are printed.

The parliamentary and municipal by-elections are set for February 3 next year.

CCC has accused Zanu PF of sponsoring a plot to destroy the party through Tshabangu who has initiated several recalls threatening to decimate the opposition’s decent representation in parliament and also weaken their control on several major urban councils.

Tshabangu stands adamant he is acting on his own accord in an attempt to correct what he says was the imposition of party candidates ahead of the August 2023 elections by Chamisa.

Zanu PF also denies hiring Tshabangu to destroy the opposition.