The opposition MDC has claimed that the recently held by-elections for Nyanga South Constituency, Ward 26 and Bikita East Constituency, Ward 32 were not held in a level play field. The party claims that there was intimidation of voters and vote buying. ZANU PF won in both wards.
We want to place it on record that the election environment is still characterised by closure of democratic space and abuse of State entities to the benefit Zanu PF.
Our vice national chairman was arrested for statements made on the campaign trial. This creates barriers for free campaigns but more importantly the episode was meant to intimidate the people of Bikita.
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Mafume also cited the example of reports that Zanu PF’s national commissar Victor Matemadanda had requested for medicines to be delivered to clinics in Lupane East as part of a by-election campaign.
In May this year, MDC Alliance won the Mutasa constituency ward 10 by-elections but had lost the Cowdray Park, Bulawayo by-elections.
The Bikita ward by-election is held when MDC deputy national chairman, Job Sikhala, is in remand prison, charged with subversion of a constitutionally elected government. He had remarked that his party would overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa before scheduled elections in 2023.
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