Since its formation in 1999, the party has won council, parliamentary and presidential elections in the constituency. But a recent by-election in Ward 12, following the death of Elvis Mavhondo, the Zanu (PF) candidate Charles Simbi won.
In exclusive interview Midlands spokesperson James Tsuro, who is also provincial Acting Organising Secretary, said the loss was far from signalling dwindling support for the MDC-T in Mkoba.
“It should be known that people in Mkoba constituency have always been supporters of MDC-T and President Tsvangirai. Even when the party split in 2005, the people still stood by Tsvangirai’s candidate Amos Chibaya,” said Tsuro.
He added that on top of rigging that marred the recent election, it was clear that MDC-T supporters stayed home on polling day.
“In the July 31 elections, our late candidate for Mkoba Ward 12 won the seat by over 1,000 votes. In last week’s by-election, Zanu (PF) controversially won by 556 votes while our candidate had 486 votes, with the guy from NCA getting 65 votes. These figures show that MDC-T votes in July 31 were almost equivalent to the people who reportedly voted last week put together.
“It was a clear sign of voter apathy among our supporters, of course coupled with the rigging mechanisms of Zanu (PF) which we exposed earlier on, that saw MDC-T being denied victory,” he said.
Tsuro said reasons for voter apathy may include loss of confidence in the transparency of the elections following unearthing of dead people on the voters’ roll and the rejection of the MDC-T’s bid to ban use of the voter registration slips by the High Court.
“If you look at the bumper crowd that attended president Tsvangirai’s rally at Mkoba Stadium a week before the by-election, you will see that MDC-T still has huge following here. Above all, Zanu (PF)’s disputed victory of that council seat is meaningless in both Mkoba and town house. In Mkoba constituency MDC-T has six councillors and Zanu (PF) only has that one. At town house we have 15 councillors out of 18 so we still rule,” said Tsuro.Post published in: News