Zanu PF snatches Binga opposition seat in weekend poll marred by violence

BINGA – Zanu PF has wrestled Binga Rural District Council’s Ward 20 seat from the opposition in a weekend by-election that was marred by  violence linked to the ruling party and the usual controversies associated with the Zimbabwean ballot.

In the poll, Zanu PF’s Mulando Muleya got 945 votes while CCC’s  Crispen Munkuli received 546 votes.

It was the first time in many years that the seat has been won by the ruling party.

In other by-elections also held Saturday, CCC’s Martin Chivhoko won Gweru Municipality’s ward 4 by-election after garnering 643 votes against Zanu PF candidate Gibson Chingwadza who got 300.

In Ward 5, Gweru Municipality, Zanu PF’s Kwanisai Mafa polled 556 votes to defeat CCC’s Cleopas Shiri who got 472.

Gweru Municipality’s Ward 18 went to John Manyangabvu Manyundwa of CCC who polled 250 votes against his challenger Walter Makwalo of Zanu PF who got 182.

Mberengwa Rural District Council’s Ward 28 was won by Sthethwandaba Zhou of Zanu PF who got 721 votes against CCC’s Nash Nkomo who polled 81 votes.

The poll, as usual, was marred by violence.

Ahead of the weekend poll, CCC Matabeleland North provincial chairperson and Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda said violence was escalating in the district ahead of the weekend polls.

“I am seriously disturbed by the level of desperation that Zanu PF has shown in the current by-elections taking place in Binga.

“Douglas Mahiya went to Chief Siabuwa’s area two to three days ago threatening to unleash violence.

“Now as I speak, there are 15 thugs driving in 10 Zanu PF-marked vehicles. They are going around shooting guns at random; they are going around abducting people at night. About 15 people were seriously beaten up in Kalungwizi last (Wednesday) night,” Sibanda said.

Apart from violence, the other controversy that arose during the weekend poll was the number of assisted voters in one Binga polling station which stood at 46 against a combined 300 votes cast.

The opposition has always been accusing Zanu PF of manipulating the country’s poll processes to tilt the vote in its favour.

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