The ruling ZANU PF retained the seven Parliamentary seats it won in 2018 that had become vacant recently. The governing party also won two seats, including the Epworth constituency, which had of late become an opposition stronghold.
The seats that were won by the ruling party in the just-ended by-elections include Epworth Constituency, Mutasa South Constituency, Harare Ward 21 (Mabvuku), Mberengwa South, and Ward 15 in Chitungwiza. Speaking on the results, the ruling party said:
We won 9 seats in the House of Assembly Elections We retained all 7 seats we won in 2018 and snatched 2 from CCC.
Some Epworth residents said they “had no problems voting (ZANU PF’s) Zalerah Makari because the last time she was there we saw some development in Epworth.”
Commenting on the development on Twitter, one Luke@lucas_chatoo suggested that voting for ZANU PF was “the normal thing” for Epworth residents. Added Luke:
They chose someone who wanted it the most. That should be normal even kusvika kuma Presidential, we don’t owe anyone. Anoda kuita leader should earn it. Manje kuma presidential the rural decide for us. Havana zvokuita,they use their energy on voting.
Some believe the title deeds factor played the trick. One Washington@wash1024 said on Twitter:
Fear of murambatsvina is number 1 in Epworth and they remember that when voting and Zanu pf leverages that. CCC cannot promise them title deeds or even temporary security like Zpf
During the campaigns, the ruling party promised to give title deeds to Epworth residents.
Meanwhile, Team Pachedu, an opposition political activism online group, suggested that the victory was fraudulently attained. Said Team Pachedu:
ZEC manipulated the voters’ roll resulting in many voters failing to vote yesterday… ZEC illegally secretly moved people to different wards… relatives who live together in Epworth, but are voting in different wards. This is ILLEGAL. ZEC violated the Electoral Act and heads must roll.
ZEC has in the past denied Team Pachedu’s allegations that it was rigging elections in the favour of the ruling party.