MUTARE – ZANU PF Nyanga South Member of Parliament Supa Mandiwanzira has said his party’s ‘shock’ victory over MDC Alliance in Nyanga South ward 26 by election held over the weekend was a clear testimony that the electorate still had confidence in the ruling party.
The party won when it is at an all-time low with speculative reports of factionalism filtering through.
Zanu PF candidate Bisset Mapeta garnered 396 votes against 236 polled by MDC Alliance candidate Vincent Bopoto.
The seat fell vacant after the death of MDC-councilor Elias Mashumba who died early this year after a short illness.
The seat has been in the hands of the opposition party for a longtime.
Speaking after the election result, Mandiwanzira said Zanu PF has a clear understanding of issues concerning people.
“So as a party we have made a very solid plan to resolve the issues bedevilling the people. That is why the people believe in us and they still have confidence in our party,” said the legislator.
“The people believe us far more than they believe the opposition party.It is their confidence in us that has made them to dump the opposition in this by-election,” said Mandiwanzira.
“What this victory means is that these people recognise that Zanu PFand its leadership are the only ones that will provide real solutions to the challenges currently being faced in the economy,” he said
Mandiwanzira said Zanu PF’s victory was a clear testimony of how the ruling party is in touch with the electorate.
“For the longest time ward 26 has consistently voted for the opposition but this time it was not the case and it is because we went on the ground and listened to them,” he said
“What we need to do now is to work hard and develop the area including the challenges they are facing,” explained Mandiwanzira.
However, MDC Alliance has described by-elections as a result of concoction of vote buying, intimidation and abuse of institutions.
Jacob Mafume, MDC Secretary for Elections on Sunday said the party expected better results and lessons would be made use of in the upcoming elections.
“We want to place it on record that the election environment is still characterised by closure of democratic space and abuse of state entities to the benefit of Zanu PF,” he said.
Mafume said there were reported issues of biased distribution of beans and rice in a vote buying campaign last week towards election day.
‘The long and short of it is that the by-election results reflected a dividend of lack of holistic electoral reform. These are issues we demand to be resolves through dialogue to cure the cyclical phenomenon of disputed elections,” Mafume said.