Council poll results dismissed as “comical”

Results from the July 31st council elections, that were finally released Thursday, have been dismissed by both MDC formations as a joke, with ZANU-PF claiming landslide victories in a majority of local councils countrywide.

According to figures released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), candidates representing Robert Mugabe’s party now dominate the country’s rural and urban councils, having won 1,493 out of a total 1,958 wards. The MDC-T won 442.

The numbers translate to a 76% ZANU PF majority in local councils, a greater landslide than the 61% Robert Mugabe claimed in the disputed presidential poll. “ZANU-PF completed its rout of MDC-T”, the state run Herald newspaper announced, boasting of its master’s victory.

But both MDC formations were quick to dismiss the figures, insisting the results are a reflection of the wider manipulation of ballots by ZEC and ZANU PF.

Abednico Bhebhe, MDC-T deputy National Organising Secretary, said their party dismisses the whole election process as a fraud. He explained that focusing on just the local government would legitimize a process that was fraught with irregularities.

“As we have said the party that claims to have won did not win this harmonized election. They are not even celebrating. They stole the votes. We ask the simple question, if you live in a community and know that you all voted for party A, why would the results announced then be different,” Bhebhe told SW Radio Africa.

He added that in provinces like Manicaland and Masvingo, the MDC-T won overwhelming majorities in 2008. But 5 years later ZANU PF is claiming a landslide in those areas, when nothing has changed.

With ZANU PF now in control of both houses of parliament and local government, many Zimbabweans are extremely concerned about the future. – SW Radio Africa

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