George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Zanu-PF continues to prove its political dominance after the ruling party trounced the main opposition MDC-Alliance and two other political parties in the Zaka East parliamentary by-election, where its candidate, Cde Clemence Chiduwa, garnered 7 119 votes to romp to a landslide victory on Saturday.
Cde Chiduwa swept to victory after out-muscling Mr Derick Charamba of MDC-A, who came a distant second with 1 518 votes.
Mr Clemence Chavarika of the National Constitutional Assembly managed 83 votes, while Mr Lazarus Mubango of Free Zimbabwe Congress party settled for 63 votes.
There were 85 spoilt votes with a voter turnout of 55,7 percent.
This is the third seat to be won by Zanu-PF in by-elections held post 2018 harmonised elections after the ruling party also won in Lupane East and Mangwe National Assembly by-elections.
The ruling party has also won wards in Nyanga, Bikita, Bulawayo and Masvingo, with MDC-A managing to win only the recently held Glen View South National Assembly by-election.
An elated Cde Chiduwa said his victory was well deserved.
“I will spearhead development in Zaka East constituency with my target being to fulfil the promises I made during the campaigns,” he said. “Zanu-PF is a party for development and the party always delivers on its promises.’’
Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial secretary for finance Cde Rabson Mavhenyengwa said the ruling party was thrilled by the victory in Zaka East, which he said was a thumbs up to President Mnangagwa and the party’s thrust to achieving an upper middle income economy by 2030.
MDC-A’s Mr Charamba said he did not accept the result, but was not in a position to give reasons.
“I will only give an exact position after consulting with party seniors (national organising secretary Mr Amos Chibaya and national secretary for elections Mr Jacob Mafume), who are here (in Zaka), but the defeat is not accepted,’’ he said yesterday morning.
When contacted later in the day, Mr Charamba was evasive.
“Right now I am where I cannot discuss those (election) issues, I am in a meeting, call me back after about 30 minutes,’’ he said. Great Zimbabwe University philosophy lecturer Mr Jowere Mukusha said Zanu-PF’s crushing victory in Zaka East and other previous National Assembly by-elections was testament of the party’s solid support base, especially in rural areas.
“It is a signal of what will happen in 2023, especially when it comes to rural voters,” he said.
The Zaka East by-election was held to fill a vacancy created by the death of Cde Caston Gumbwanda in June this year.