MDC blames intimidation for by-elections loss

MDC blames intimidation for by-elections loss
Published: 16 July 2019 (154 Views)
OPPOSITION MDC has blamed "calculated intimidation and vote buying" for its embarrassing loss  of Nyanga ward 26, a claim that Zanu-PF scoffed at as a case of "sour grapes".

The ruling party's Bisset Mapeta won the poll with 397 votes against the MDC Alliance's Vincent Bopoto's 236.
Zanu-PF is in high spirits after wrestling the poll, which was previously won by Elias Mashumba who passed on in April after a short illness.

Both parties had expressed confidence of winning it with MDC Alliance Manicaland provincial spokesperson David Panganai vowing to retain it as they did the Mutasa ward 10 two months ago.

Panganai had told this publication that his party had "done sufficiently well" in the ward and had "been able to campaign under difficult but possible conditions articulating the party's vision to the electorate".

He was also confident the comatose economy would also help sway the vote in their favour only to receive the shock result - the second seat to be lost to Zanu-PF this year after losing the Bulawayo ward 28 seat to the ruling party's Kidwell Majuru.
Panganai said while they had lost the ward "through calculated intimidation and vote buying", they remained optimistic that they will fare better in future elections.

"There is a lot of hope, we are going back to the drawing board.
"We will be sitting down soon to introspect and come up with a strategy," he said.

Zanu-PF Manicaland secretary for administration Kenneth Saruchera dismissed claims of intimidation and vote buying as "baseless" accusations by "sour losers".

"They should just admit defeat at times. Those claims are baseless, they are just sour losers. Our campaign strategy was just far more superior.

"We realised that rallies were ineffective and so we decided to do door-to-door campaigns by allocating individuals areas to cover in the run-up to the election and that worked well for us," Saruchera said.

Zanu-PF has been in celebratory mood after winning Bikita ward 31 election with its candidate Thomas Matanga polling 1 112 votes against MDC Alliance's Moses Maphosa who polled 410 votes while National Constitutional Assembly's Peter Mavenga only managed a paltry 23 votes.

- dailynews

Tags: MDC,
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