HARARE - The governing Zanu PF party is set to beat a fringe opposition party in a special vote for a parliamentary seat next week.
The March 5 vote, for a seat in Mhondoro-Mubaira, one of 210 in Parliament’s lower house, is the first big electoral test this year and will be keenly watched.
A presidential proclamation has ordered the holding of a by-election to fill the vacant Mhondoro-Mubaira constituency seat, formerly held by Sylvester Nguni — a key ally of ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru.
Nguni lost the seat in terms of Section 129(1)(k) of the Constitution after being expelled from Zanu PF for links to Mujuru’s opposition Zimbabwe People First political party.
The Nomination Court sat on January 6 and accepted two candidates, George Gangarahwe of Zanu PF and Rodwell Nyanganya of the little-known Freedom Front.
Opinion polls have shown that Zanu PF is on course to beat the fringe opposition party.
Risks to Zanu PF stem largely from factions in its own party since opposition MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai resolved to boycott all polls until fundamental electoral reforms have been enacted.
Meanwhile, the Nomination Court for the Guruve South contest will sit at Bindura Magistrates’ Courts tomorrow. If there are two or more nominations, polling day will be on April 23.
The governing party has named Josephine Shava as a Zanu PF party-list member of the National Assembly for Mashonaland West.
Her appointment was announced by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in a General Notice published on February 19.
This follows her nomination by Zanu PF to fill the vacancy following the death of late Joan Tsogorani.
There is also one Senate vacancy, a Zanu PF party-list seat in Mashonaland East, formerly held by ex-Higher Education minister Olivia Muchena.