ZANU PF and the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) yesterday expressed confidence of electoral victory as preliminary results from across the country started trickling in showing a see-saw outcome.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said it would announce all the results of the Wednesday election within five days.
The elections were dogged by various irregularities, but the CCC said it was smelling victory using its unofficial tally of election results showing the party winning in cities and peri-urban centres and some rural areas.
While the CCC claimed to have made inroads in Zanu PF strongholds in the rural areas, the ruling party also celebrated saying it had marginally eaten into the opposition support base in cities.
Zanu PF looked to have maintained some strongholds such as Masvingo with huge margins.
It was a bad day for some presidential candidates who seem to have struggled to win the hearts of Zimbabweans as President Emmerson Mnangagwa and CCC leader, Nelson Chamisa, emerged as the main contenders for the country’s top post.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare, CCC spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said the party would not announce its vote tally, but was quick to add that indications showed victory.
“Nonetheless, we knew this beforehand, and we have prepared ourselves to win an unfree and unfair election,” Mkwananzi said.
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“So far, the information we have is that we are leading in the presidential election comfortably, and we are doing well in the parliamentary election.
“We expect this trend to continue because the people of Zimbabwe have decided that they want change.”
Zanu PF has not held a Press conference, but party activists and presidential spokesperson George Charamba, said they were sensing victory on their social media posts.
Zanu PF was declared winner in 90 local government wards yesterday afternoon, where the opposition failed to field candidates.
Zec started announcing more election results last night.
Mabvuku-Tafara in Harare and Cowdray Park in Bulawayo were constituencies to watch after Zanu PF spent big through the deep pockets of gold dealer Pedzisai “Scott” Sakupwanya and Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to woo votes.
Indications were that the two big spenders fell by the wayside.
Preliminary results showed that the CCC had won all five parliamentary seats and 25 municipal wards in Chitungwiza.
In the Midlands province, CCC took the urban seats comfortably, although Redcliff appeared to be slipping out of their hands.
In Norton, Richard Tsvangirai, the son of late firebrand MDC founding leader former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, pulled a shocker by defeating sitting legislator Temba Mliswa, an independent candidate.
Mliswa conceded defeat.
In Gweru Urban, CCC candidate and former mayor Josiah Makombe trounced Zanu PF’s Alex Mukwembi and Brian Dube of MDC-T, who previously held the seat.
In Chiredzi West, Zanu PF’s Darlington Chiwa garnered 15 054 to beat CCC’s Nhamoinesu Machigere, who got 6 554.
In St Mary’s constituency, Brighton Mazhindu (CCC) polled 11 094 votes against another CCC candidate Freddy Masarirevhu, who got 5 519, and Zanu PF’s Nobert Jinjika (7 728).
In Epworth South, there were three CCC candidates, with Didymus Bande polling 1 867, Solomon Baramasimbe getting 1 314 and Kudakwashe Chatambudza (6 745), while Zanu PF candidate Honour Mbofana Taedzwa won after garnering 8 112 votes.
In Buhera West, Zanu PF’s Tafadzwa Mugwadi polled 11 087 against CCC candidate Herbert Mangwanya, who got 6 967.
Results from Bikita South showed that Zanu PF candidate Energy Mutodi got 11 396 to beat CCC’s Barney Nyika, who polled 6 622.
In Harare, there were reports that the CCC had won all seats, except for Mbare, Hunyani, Harare South and Epworth.
In Bulawayo, it was also claimed that the CCC made a clean sweep, winning all local government and parliamentary seats.
In Manicaland, indications were that some Zanu PF bigwigs had fallen by the wayside.