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ZANU-PF wins Chinhoyi and Harare by-elections

HARARE — Zanu PF claimed victory in weekend local authority by-elections held in Chinhoyi Municipality Ward 4 and City of Harare Ward 36.

The by-elections were conducted to fill vacancies that emerged in the respective wards. In Chinhoyi Municipality Ward 4, the seat became vacant after the High Court invalidated the victory of Archibald Muzanenhamo, an independent candidate, due to his involvement in vote-buying within 300 meters of a polling station during the previous elections. Meanwhile, in Harare Municipality Ward 36, the vacancy resulted from the recall of Lovejoy Chitengu, a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate.

ZANU-PF candidates emerged victorious in both wards, with Ignatius Zvigadze securing the seat in Chinhoyi Ward 4 and Hilda Ruzani claiming victory in Harare Ward 36.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) deployed 30 observers across the two wards, reporting a generally peaceful pre-election environment with candidates engaging in door-to-door campaigns, social media outreach, and community meetings. Notably, ZESN highlighted the dominant campaign presence of ZANU-PF candidate Hilda Ruzani in Harare Ward 36, while in Chinhoyi Ward 4, both ZANU-PF’s Zvigadze and independent candidate Muzanenhamo actively campaigned.

Despite some incidents of tearing and defacing of campaign posters, overall, the election day was reported as calm and well-organized, with polling stations opening on time and essential materials readily available. However, there were instances of voters being turned away due to issues with identification or missing names on the voters’ roll.

In terms of voter turnout, Chinhoyi Municipality Ward 4 saw a relatively higher turnout at around 42.3%, compared to Harare Ward 36’s 17.8% turnout.

ZESN commended the peaceful conduct of the by-elections and urged for more political literacy among party supporters regarding electoral regulations. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of voter education on local authority elections, stressing their significant impact on citizens’ daily lives.

ZANU-PF win Chinhoyi and Harare by-elections