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History repeats itself in Masvingo as Zanu (PF) heads for a clean sweep

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By Upenyu Chaota

MASVINGO— Widely believed to be an opposition stronghold, a perception it held until 2013 harmonised elections where Zanu PF shocked many by winning all the 26 constituencies, history is set to repeat itself in Masvingo province as results slipping into the public indicate that MDC Alliance could walk away with only the urban constituency.

As the polling stations closed yesterday and counting of ballots began, the moment of truth awaited for the people here who seemed tired of Zanu PF rule and saw hope in the youthful MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa.

Results displayed at ward command centres in Masvingo Urban point to a massive MDC Alliance victory bagging seven out of the ten wards and their parliamentary candidate Jacob Nyokanhete romping to victory over Zanu PF’s Taguma Benjaman Mazarire.

Owing to Chamisa’s oversubscribed rallies in Masvingo, most people predicted a massive victory but as results keep on doing rounds, Zanu PF seems to have retained all but one out of the 26 seats.

The opposition supporters’ hopes and aspirations have been shattered once again as was done in the 2013 elections where Zanu PF collected all the seats.

The momentum has died down and supporters have been quick to point fingers at ZEC and Zanu PF accusing them of manipulating the votes.

“This is a repeat of 2013. We went to the polls in high spirits but at the announcement of results we got a big slap in the face. We lost all the seats and everyone was crying. Who then voted for Zanu PF?

“In Masvingo urban we are celebrating but the whole province is disaster. Imagine we have lost in Gutu where our President comes from. This is a total disaster,” said an opposition sympathiser.

Reports coming in say that Chamisa has lost parliamentary seats in the province but he has an upper hand in the presidency over Zanu PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“We are finding shelter in the information that Chamisa has won in most constituencies though our MPs lost. We had poor candidates and some of the double candidates refused to withdraw and they gave Zanu PF an advantage,” another supporter added.

Many supporters have now pinned hopes on the official results from ZEC as the constituency, district and provincial command centres have not said anything.

“Why are they not displaying the results? All the results should be displayed by now so that we avoid all the fake speculations doing rounds on social media,” said a Chamisa follower from Gutu.

Preliminary results show that Chamisa, who pulled a record crowd in Chiredzi, has lost all the constituencies in the district and people are now hoping for a miracle to turn around their fortunes.

Former MDC Masvingo mayor Hubert Fidze attributed the loss to the provincial leadership who failed to put their house in order.

“The province has shamed us. They imposed candidates who are not popular and this is what we get for imposition. People love our party but if their will is subverted they will teach you a lesson.

“We lost Ward 6 in Masvingo Urban which has always been the home of MDC but because the candidate was imposed, the people rejected him. The province must accept responsibility,” said Fidze.

Zanu PF has remained strangely quiet and provincial chairperson Ezra Chadzamira said he does not see why people are shocked because his party’s victory was certain.

“If you want to live a stress free life you come join Zanu PF. We have said Masvingo is Zanu PF and the election results will prove that. Gone are the days when opposition claimed this province,” said Chadzamira.

A Zanu PF supporter with the national youth service said President Mnangagwa’s able leadership has resonated well with the electorate and people have spoken.

“The voice of the people is the voice of God. The people have spoken and the results we are getting are testimony to that. We await the official results from ZEC but we are confident of retaining all the seats,” he said.

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