THE ruling Zanu-PF party continues to give the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance a good run for its money in urban by-elections, with MDC’s Rydes Machekera yesterday only winning by the skin of his teeth.
Machekera defeated Zanu PF’s Prosper Mutongerwa in the by-election after he polled 240 votes against Zanu-PF’s 184. This means the MDC polled just under 57% of the vote against Zanu-PF’s 43%, a close shave considering MDC’s stranglehold in urban areas.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chegutu district election officer, Godfrey Maisiri was the returning officer.
Before the voting day, Mutongerwa had expressed confidence he was going to wrestle the seat from the opposition party.
“Last time, we lost because some of our members had jumped ship to the People’s Rainbow Coalition which was led by Joice Mujuru and this time they are back in Zanu PF. Come March 22, ward 2 will have a new Zanu PF councillor,” he said last week, as Zanu-PF bigwigs descended on the ward to help give him support.
Zanu-PF Politburo member Edna Madzongwe and Central Committee member Webster Shamu were among the party heavyweights who went on the ground and rallied support for Mutongerwa.
However, MDC chief election agent, Emson Mukandiwa, told Zimbabwe Voice that although it was a close shave, it was a happy moment for him and his team nevertheless.
“It’s a happy moment for the MDC family, as we fought hard to retain this seat. Many thanks to the team that put up a spirited campaign.
“We hope to increase our winning margins in the 2023 elections by working hard for the people. People of Chegutu ward 2 have shown confidence in Rydes Machekera who they want to be their Councillor, and also in the national leadership of president Nelson Chamisa.”
The seat fell vacant following the death of MDC councillor, Memory Banda in December last year.
– Zimbabwe Voice