Victory for MDC

HARARE - The MDC will push ahead with plans for anti-government protests, saying victory in a key by-election at the weekend was a "sign the electorate supported its policies" including democratic mass resistance.
The party, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, won a convincing victory over President Rober

t Mugabe’s ruling Zanu (PF) and the rival MDC faction in the Budiriro by-election. MDC candidate, Emmanuel Chisvuure, polled 7,949 votes. Gabriel Chaibva of the Mutambara faction MDC got 504 votes while Zanu (PF)’s Jeremiah Bvirindi polled 3,961 votes.
“This election showed that the electorate still has confidence in the MDC (Tsvangirai-led) leadership and its policies,” said the MDC spokesman.
The protests are meant to force Mugabe to relinquish power to a government of national unity, which will be tasked to write a new and democratic constitution that will ensure free and fair elections held under international supervision.
Tsvangirai’s key allies in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) weighed in with support for protests, announcing after a congress at the weekend that the country’s biggest union body would call a national strike by workers to press for better pay and living conditions.
Mugabe and his government, who had hoped for victory in Budiriro to show they were recapturing urban support from a splintered MDC, have not taken idly the opposition’s threats to call mass protests. In a fresh crackdown against dissension, the police last week arrested several church and civic leaders for organising public prayers and marches to remember Operation Murambatsvina. – ZimOnline

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