Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
ZANU-PF cantered to yet another convincing parliamentary by-election victory when it retained the Chiwundura National Assembly seat at the weekend.
The revolutionary party’s candidate, Cde Brown Ndlovu garnered 9 426 votes ahead of Mr Takudzwa Guzete of National Constitution Assembly (NCA) who received a paltry 445 votes.
Mr Brighton Mudzviti of Free Zimbabwe Congress got 145 while Mr Webster Zulu of Progressive Democrats polled 118.
An ecstatic Cde Ndlovu yesterday said the crushing victory was a precursor to what opposition parties should expect from a supercharged Zanu-PF in next year’s general elections.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) Constituency Elections Officer for the by-election, Mr Joshua Mhino announced the results yesterday morning at Regina Mundi High School command centre.
“I therefore declare Brown Ndlovu of Zanu-PF on this day July 16, 2017 to be duly elected member of the National Assembly for Chiwundura constituency. Total votes rejected were 187, total votes cast 10 321 and total valid votes cast, 10 134. We had a voter population of 43 688 and the percentage poll is 23.6 percent,” Mr Mhino said.
Zec Commissioner Mr Daniel Chigaru said the election was peaceful and transparent.
He refuted allegations by the Electoral Resource Centre that some polling stations were situated at homesteads of political activists.
The homesteads suspected to be belonging to political activists, Mr Chigaru said, were farm houses in resettlement areas that had been turned into schools.
“We are happy that throughout the whole period the contesting parties met and talked and that there were no major issues that were raised during the meetings. Our polling stations opened on time at 7am and closed at 7PM. The polling was quite brisk as usual. What we would want to believe is that the results of this peaceful process that took place yesterday were because of the interparty committee that was set up. We had 68 polling stations across the whole constituency,” he said.
There were several people observing the elections, he said, adding that three Zec commissioners that travelled the entire constituency.
He said he was happy to announce that from the comments that were left in the polling stations, they were all satisfied with the way polling was conducted.
“The by-election was peaceful and we would want to believe that everything was transparent,” he said.
Cde Ndlovu was happy with the result which he said was a reflection of the confidence that people have in Zanu-PF. He pledged to deliver on the promises he made during the election campaign.
He said he will also pursue and complete the projects that were left behind by his predecessor, the late Cde Kizito Chivamba.
Messrs Guzete and Mudzviti conceded defeat saying the elections were free and fair.
Mr Zulu had earlier chickened out but his withdrawal was not considered as he did not submit it within the stipulated time, 21 days before the by-election.
Zanu-PF Midlands provincial spokesperson, Cde Cornelius Mupereri said:
“We promised a victory and that is what we got. Cde Ndlovu will just fit into Cde Chivamba’s shoes and he will continue with the projects that were left behind. This is a snippet of the 2018 elections.”