Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
OPPOSITION parties that are celebrating winning in the Saturday by-election must always accept electoral outcomes even if they are not in their favour, Zanu PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa has said.
Addressing the media at the party headquarters in the aftermath of Saturday by-elections, where Zanu PF retained seven of its seats and added two more, while CCC won in its 19 traditional strongholds albeit with small margins, Cde Mutsvangwa said the opposition must show maturity instead of ever playing victims.
“We did very well, the party did very well, candidates who wrestled seats from opposition, I can’t say the same on opposition. Most of the seats belonged to the opposition, but with their fractured nature, Zanu PF managed to snatch two seats. We thank ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) for providing fair hunting ground and unfair criticism on ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba can now die down.
“We see 2023 as an opportunity when the fortunes of Zanu PF will be sustained as the message resonates well with the people. The Saturday by-elections was a warning that their days of urban electorate supremacy are over,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.
He congratulated Harare and Manicaland provinces for grabbing two seats from the stronghold of the opposition.
In 2018, the MDC-Alliance candidates won in Epworth and Mutasa South, but the same candidates were on Saturday clobbered as the Second Republic’s policies appear to be hitting the mark ahead of next year’s general elections.
Altogether, there were 28 constituencies up for grabs. Zanu PF retained its seats in Gokwe Central, Chivi South, Mberengwa South, Murehwa South, Marondera East, Mwenezi East and Tsholotsho North, while the opposition won in urban areas but Binga North, however, with small margins.
Despite facing a heavy defeat, MDC-T president Mr Douglas Mwonzora showed a brave face saying his party had a wrong strategy, but expressed his commitment to dialogue.
“We got our strategy wrong and we are going back to the drawing board. We will continue strong in 2023. We are very committed to dialogue because this election needs dialogue,” he said.
Lead leader Mrs Linda Masarira saluted the country for holding peaceful elections. “As a party, we are happy with the peaceful March 22 by-elections, and we congratulate those who won though we were concerned about low voter turnout,” she said.