Zanu (PF) wins council by-elections, ZESN concerned over pollers turned away

Zanu (PF) has won all three contested Local Government ward elections conducted over the weekend.

The ruling party retained the Karoi Municipality Ward 10, Zaka Rural District Council Ward 32 and wrestled Harare Municipality Ward 12 from MDC-T.

According to ZEC results, in Harare Zanu (PF) candidate, Maureen Nyemba, won ward 12 with 843 votes, Albert Muponda of MDC-T came second with 835, NCA’s Takura Gadzira had 76 and an independent Jack Ethen Muzanenamho trailed with 26.

Zaka RDC ward 32 elections saw Togarepi Toruvanda of Zanu (PF) romping to victory with 1, 054 votes, second came Bubi Elias Mutanga of MDC-T who garnered 129 while E. Chikamhi of the NCA came third with 67.

In Karoi Municipality ward 10, Zanu (PF) candidate, Fortune Madamombe, won with 725 votes against 226 collected by Solomon Chiwaya of MDC-T.

ZESN described the election as generally peaceful and said they started on time with electoral material available at the respective polling centres.

Though other electoral laws where followed, ZESN expressed concern at the number of people turned away despite having voted at the centres in the July 31, 2013 harmonised elections. Their names did not appear on the voters roll used.

“It was also disturbing to note that assisted voters, who came along with aids of their choice, were made to cast the ballot in the presence of a presiding officer.

“Electoral laws should be implemented in uniformity, since at some polling centres, police officers were deployed outside polling stations while at others they were inside,” said ZESN in a statement.

Another anomaly observed among several others, was the use of unauthenticated voters’ slips used in the 2013 elections, which could be abused by people from outside the wards to cast the ballot.

Prospective voters with slips dated July 10, 2013 and below were turned away despite the voter registration process being an ongoing exercise.

The outcome was described by Zanu (PF) spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, as clear testimony that Zimbabweans were appreciating Zanu (PF) programmes.

“The election result sent the right signal to our detractors, opponents and their handlers that Zimbabweans wanted to determine their destiny under Zanu (PF) leadership,” said Gumbo.

The MDC-T defeat was also described by Zanu (PF) Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa, as ‘signs that MDC-T was fast approaching extinction’.

MDC-T spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, accused Zanu (PF) of using the voters’ slips as a rigging tool.

“Voters’ slips were used once again by Zanu (PF) to steel elections amid intimidations and vote buying using government food aid,” Mwonzora said, describing the rigging as part of Zanu (PF) politics.

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