Zanu-PF trounces opposition MDC

A total of 5 581 voters turned up at the polls, a slight improvement from the 5 352 who voted in the previous election, but that still represented a small fraction of the 20 574 registered voters. Martin Zimani, the Zanu-PF candidate, trounced the incumbent, Francis Dhlakama, who was representing a faction of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) loyal to Morgan Tsvangirai. Zimani got 3 236 votes, while Dhlakama polled 2 335. The result was a crushing blow to the opposition which has been steadily losing ground in its urban strongholds to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party. In the second largest city of Bulawayo where another faction led by Arthur Mutambara fielded two candidates in ward elections, the MDC lost again. Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the party’s parliamentary spokesperson, said: “These results don’t illustrate a massive shift of MDC supporters joining Zanu-PF, but rather a growing frustration at the leadership of the party. Analysts blame disillusionment with the MDC, which recently split in two, as well as widespread voter apathy. Opposition voters also have to decipher conflicting signals from the MDC, which sometimes advocates poll boycotts. ‘ SAPA/DPA.

March 2006
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