UPDATED: Zanu-PF maintains dominance
Desmond Nleya, Chronicle Reporter
ZANU-PF continues to maintain its dominance on the local political landscape after trouncing the main opposition MDC Alliance in two by-elections held in Matabeleland South and Manicaland on Saturday.
The by-election in Mangwe’s Ward 17 in Matabeleland South was held to fill a vacancy that arose following the death of a Zanu-PF councillor, Cde Clement Alfred Majahana in January this year. Matabeleland South Provincial Elections Officer, Mr Rabson Nyoni declared Zanu-PF’s candidate Cde Onthibile Ndlovu as the new councillor for Ward 17 after collation of results at Tjedza Primary School which was the ward command centre.
“Onthibile Ndlovu polled 313 votes while Sindisiwe Phuthi polled 201. Votes rejected were only two. The total registered population in Mangwe District Ward 17 is 1 220 and 516 voted. The total voter turnout was 42 percent,” said Mr Nyoni.
Zanu-PF Matabeleland South provincial chairman, Cde Rabelani Choeni said the victory showed that the ruling party was the people’s party and is always on the ground with the voters.
“We are the people’s party and we will always win elections. We are a party which tells the truth not the other parties that survive on lies. So, we will always be winning because we are always on the ground,” he said.
He however, attributed the low voter turnout to various reasons that include working in the fields by the voters.
“Some people decided to stay in their fields working, so they did not vote. Others have no registration documents while some are just ignorant. So, a lot of education needs to be done especially for people who live along the borders. It is our duty to take such challenges to government,” said Cde Choeni.
In the Chimanimani Ward 16 by-election, also held on Saturday, the ruling party candidate Cde Charles Chinamira polled 1 587 while Erasmus Brighton of MDC Alliance got 226. The seat fell vacant after the death of Zanu-PF councillor, Mr Tendayi Nyabaya in December last year.
A statement released by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) yesterday said both the Mangwe and Chimanimani by-elections were peaceful.
“The political environment in the wards had been reported to be serene with no incidents of violence or malpractices having been observed or reported,” said the statement.
Last month Zanu-PF also retained Mwenezi Ward 15 seat after polling 1 811 votes against MDC-Alliance’s 27 votes. — @DesmondNdazi