BY NIZBERT MOYO
MDC Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Prince Dubeko Sibanda says the opposition party is not reading much into its poor performance in local government by-elections in Tsholotsho, saying it was a good start to its strategy to penetrate rural areas.
Sibanda said MDC fielded a candidate for the first time in Ward 20, which consists of mainly resettled villagers who are predominantly Zanu PF supporters.
“There are a number of factors that contributed to our loss,” he said.
“For starters in Ward 20, Tsholotsho South, it was the first time ever that we fielded a candidate in the ward against Zanu PF.
“Zanu PF won uncontested previously.
“That we got 21 votes in a purely resettlement area for me is a good start.
“We all know that Zanu PF threatens to take away the land from the people if they do not vote it.
“In Ward 16 despite Zanu PF’s vote-buying tactics, we increased our vote tally from what we got in 2018.
“Even in Lupane East constituency we increased our vote tally.”
The two by-elections in Tsholotsho were held on November 9 and were won by Tshoni Mnkandla (Ward 20) and Isaac Moyo (Ward 16), both from Zanu PF.
In August, Zanu PF’s Mbongeni Dube won the Lupane East constituency by-election where he beat MDC’s Dalumuzi Khumalo.
Zanu PF also retained Ward 22 in Bubi and Nkayi’s Ward 23.