Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU-PF, has a lost a by-election in the Norton constituency. This was confirmed in a tweet by the Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
“Norton [constituency] has eluded us. Key lessons have been learnt. Thank you to our supporters for coming out and voting for our candidate,” Kasukuwere said.
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The ZANU-PF lost the Norton constituency to an independent candidate, Temba Mliswa. Mliswa won with 8,927 votes, against ZANU-PF’s Ronald Chidudza who won 6,192 votes. David Choga of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) came third with 89 votes.
The main opposition, Movement for Democratic Change, did not present a candidate.
The loss of Norton constituency had made many to mull over what the “lessons learned” by the ZANU-PF exactly signifies.
Some wondered if this was a lesson that Zanu-Pf is past its prime in Zimbabwe. The 92-year-old president, Robert Mugabe, who has been the leader of the southern African country since its independence from Britain, has vowed to contest the 2018 election. Although many Zimbabweans have on many instances opposed the president’s continuous presidential ambition, he has insisted that he plans to rule Zimbabwe until death.
Others have been sceptical on the easy loss, citing it was a ploy by the ZANU-PF to make the opposition feel like they have the upper hand, ahead of the 2018 polls. However, the party handed out 5,000 free stands to the youth on the eve of the election showing that they planned to win.
The real bull in the Kraal
Although standing as an independent candidate, Mliswa was a member of the ZANU-PF, right until 2015 when he was expelled from the party.
“I’m the real bull in the kraal. President Mugabe sent his small bulls (Vice-President Emmerson) Mnangagwa, (Vice-President Phelekezela) Mphoko and (Zanu PF commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere and I defeated them,
“Now I’m going for the biggest bull in their kraal, President Mugabe, because there must be one bull in Zimbabwe,” Mliswa said.