HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF swept the “sham” parliamentary by-elections held on Wednesday, with the party candidates registering “pyrrhic” victory with handsome margins in all the 16 seats.
The ruling party also clinched an unexpected victory in Bulawayo, winning all the five seats in a special poll boycotted by Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC.
The last time Zanu PF won any seats in Bulawayo was in 1995 before the formation of the MDC.
Jacob Mafume, spokesperson of the MDC renewal team, said the people of Bulawayo in particular and Zimbabwe in general will never forgive “Tsvangirai and his shameful party” for this humiliation.
“He created by-elections knowing quite well that his party was not going to participate in that election, in connivance with Zanu PF, he removed opposition MPs from Parliament who were legitimately voted by the people in huge numbers only to replace them by people’s tormentors,” Mafume said.
“It is sad that the people of Zimbabwe have over the years believed in the hope that Tsvangirai and his party would deliver them from Zanu PF but now it’s clear their hopes for all these years have been misplaced. MDC-T is Zanu PF B, MDC-T has become a backup plan for Mugabe.
“Never again should people of Zimbabwe and Bulawayo in particular entertain the thought of an MDC-T-led change. Its credibility dent and its sins are now of Zanu PF proportions.”
But Tsvangirai’s MDC said from Luveve in Bulawayo to Dzivaresekwa in Harare, the story was the same; Zimbabweans stayed away from these sham polls.
“Zimbabweans heeded the call by the MDC and president Morgan Tsvangirai not to participate in these polls until far-reaching reforms were implemented to ensure a credible outcome,” the MDC said in a statement.
“No amount of political grandstanding by the faction-ridden and disintegrating Zanu PF regime can sanitise the electoral farce that took place on June 10, 2015.
“The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must take this as a warning that unless and until they run a credible poll, Zimbabweans will continue staying at home. Until and unless reforms are implemented, our elections will not be credible and will continue to breed contested outcomes.”
The electoral outcome also bucked predictions of almost all the exit polls that gave the opposition Zapu two to three seats in Bulawayo.
However, the Dumiso Dabengwa-led party gave Zanu PF a close fight with party candidates securing second position in all the five constituencies.
There was a photo-finish in Hurungwe West where independent candidate Temba Mliswa was controversially defeated by Zanu PF’s Keith Guzah. Guzah scooped 5 961 vote while Mliswa polled 4 239.
Information minister Jonathan Moyo, who won in Tsholotsho North, was quick to express his happiness on Twitter.
“I want to thank Pres Mugabe, our 2 VPs, the NPC, party colleagues, my family, twimbos and above all Tsholotsho North voters for the landslide!” Moyo said.
Zanu PF’s Isau Mupfumi, who landed the Dangamvura-Chikanga seat, said he was elated.
“I’m now a servant of the people of Dangamvura-Chikanga Constituency,” Mupfumi told journalists soon after the announcement of his victory.
Terence Mukupe, the new Zanu PF MP for Harare East, said: “Tinodzorera mbiri kuna Jehovah. We have overcome. We serve an amazing God. I want to thank everyone for the support and prayers. I am going to fulfil the mandate that the people have entrusted me with in the Parliament of our great nation of Zimbabwe. Viva Zanu PF.”