George Maponga in Mwenezi —
VOTING ended peacefully in the Mwenezi East parliamentary by-election yesterday with high voter turnout across the constituency’s 62 polling stations.
The by-election is a three man horse race among Cde Joosbi Omar of Zanu PF, Mr Turner Mhango of Free Zimbabwe Congress Party and Mr Welcome Masuku of the National Constitutional Assembly. Former Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti of Zim PF chickened out of the by-election.
The seat fell vacant after the death of Zanu PF legislator Cde Joshua Moyo in December last year.
A snap survey by The Sunday Mail showed that voting started as early as 7am and there were long queues at Nyoni Secondary School, Tokwe-Mukosi Primary School in Ward 13.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Masvingo Provincial Elections Officer, Mr Zex Pudurai said, “We have had high voter turnout at most polling station across the constituency and we are expecting to release the results later today (yesterday) because some polling stations are about 200km away from the command centre.”
The furthest polling station from the command centre is Mukandi, which is located in a resettlement area 200km east of Rutanga Growth Point.
Results from other polling stations such as Matibi 2, located about 100km away from the command centre at Sacred High School were also expected late.
Cde Ommar expressed optimism in retaining the Zanu PF seat.
The ruling party has already indicated that it will romp to an emphatic victory given the weak opposition parties.
Since the 2013 elections, Zanu PF has won almost all the by-elections except the Norton constituency which voted for Mr Temba Mliswa.