The ruling Zanu PF party held elections in Mutare on Saturday in violation of coronavirus regulations which prohibit public gatherings, including the holding of elections.
The polls were conducted to fill in the senatorial seat which was left vacant after the death of Minister of State for Manicaland province, Ellen Gwaradzimba, who died in January from COVID-19 related complications.
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Zanu PF provincial vice-chairperson, Dorothy Mabika, who is a top ally of Manicaland provincial chairperson Mike Madiro was declared the winner.
Mabika polled 66 votes, with Gertrude Mutandi, who is a top ally of Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri, coming second (39 votes).
The other losing candidates were Manicaland women’s league chairperson Happiness Nyakuedzwa, former MP Irene Zindi, Judith Mawire and Sheila Mutsenhu.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF Manicaland political commissar Gift Kagweda insisted that the elections were conducted with the observance of all COVID-19 protocols. He said:
The election went on very well and we adhered to the World Health Organisation COVID-19 precautionary measures. I can confirm that Dorothy Mabika won the election.
This comes as the government, through the Health Minister and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, suspended by-elections to fill in vacant seats left by MDC Alliance members of Parliament and councillors who were controversially expelled by the Supreme Court reconstituted MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora.