Zanu-PF, MDC square off in Nyanga
The ruling Zanu-PF is trying to wrestle the seat from MDC, which it won in last year’s plebiscite with the incumbent passing on in April, resulting in Zimbabwe Electoral Commission calling for the by-election.
MDC’s Vincent Bopoto will square off with Zanu-PF’s Bisset Mapeta for the local authority position, which fell vacant following the death of the opposition party’s Elias Mashumba.
The ruling party’s Supa Mandiwanzira won the constituency seat, making the support of the two parties equally strong in the area with the result likely going to be a toss between the two main parties.
Zanu-PF, however, recently failed to win another by-election in the nearby MDC-controlled Mutasa Central constituency’s ward 10.
MDC Manicaland provincial spokesperson David Panganai said their confidence came from choosing a “polished and dignified gentleman” whom they have backed well with elaborate campaign strategies.
He said the ruling party was undermining its own campaign through giving tokens to earn votes.
“Secondly, the party has been able to campaign under difficult but possible conditions articulating the party’s vision to the electorate.
“Thirdly, Zanu-PF has made it difficult for themselves by their belief that the people of Zimbabwe need small tokens of gifts to vote, and their appetite for corruption.
“We are, however, confident and aware of their desire to rig and have our eyes open this time around,” Panganai said.
Zanu-PF Manicaland secretary for administration Kenneth Saruchera says his party is also confident of winning the seat. “We have done enough work to be confident of winning. We have also held several meetings with key people in the ward who have also assured us of their support,” Saruchera said.
Ward 26 is predominantly in the forestry area which covers Erin, Selborne and Mutarazi areas with both parties having vigorously campaigned since end of May.