Some residents of Chitungwiza’s Ward 7 in Zengeza East Constituency accuse ZANU PF’s candidate for the 7 May by-elections, Charamba Mlambo, of intimidating the electorate.
Mlambo, a former councillor in the area, is allegedly moving from house to house marking people’s names on the voters’ roll.
When contacted for his comment by NewsDay, Mlambo said the complaints were being made by his political rivals. He said:
What is the allegation there? Every candidate was given a voters’ roll by ZEC [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission].
The purpose was for us to know the people to target during our campaigns. It was also a way to do away with rigging allegations.
Some people are good at mobilising people who don’t vote and expect those numbers to translate into votes. So my rivals have the right to do the same.
Some are too lazy to go through the voters roll because it has about 3 400 people. It requires patience.
We are doing this in broad daylight and I wasn’t given the voters’ roll secretly.
Meanwhile, CCC candidate, Lovemore Maiko, who is a former Chitungwiza mayor accused Mlambo of vote-buying. Said Maiko:
All the candidates have the voters’ roll. However, how others use it is against the spirit and letter of a free and fair election.
We have taken steps to fumigate our ward against such electoral malpractice.
I have heard from the grapevine that he is dishing out groceries. This has always been ZANU PF’s gimmick in every election.
Chitungwiza Ward 7 fell vacant after the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T recalled Maiko from the Council on 2 March.
Bothwell Patsika is contesting the seat on an MDC Alliance ticket.