Norton election not free and fair-PDP

Mlondolozi Ndlovu

The People’s Democratic Party led by the former Minister of Finance Tendai Biti has congratulated Temba Mliswa for winning the Norton by elections but at the same time raising alarm bells that the elections were rigged.

This comes after MDC-T Vice President Nelson Chamisa had also dismissed the victory saying it was a miracle for Zanu PF to get 6000 vote in the peri-urban constituency.

The former Zanu PF Mashonaland West Chairperson Mliswa on Saturday brewed a shocker and he defeated Zanu PF’s Ronald Chindedza by 8 927 to 6192 votes.

This was the first election where an independent candidate won the by elections in the post 2013 elections period.

Congratulatory messages continue to pour in for Mliswa with opposition parties heaping praises for Mliswa for the brave show.

But the PDP says while the victory must be celebrated it was not ‘free and fair’.

“However, as the PDP, our position is that the election results released on Sunday, 23 October 2016, are not in any way a reflection that the election was held in a free, fair and credible manner,” said the party that broke away from MDC-T.

The political party noted that the outcome of the Norton plebiscite highlighted that the Norton results were ‘the best’ for the ruling party ahead of the 2018 polls.

“In fact, the outcome of the Norton by-election may be one of the best results for Zanu PF and its propaganda machinery ahead of 2018 elections,”  said the party through its secretary for elections Settlement Chikwinya.

PDP added that the party would also give Zanu PF a smoke screen excuse that they is no need for reforms as the country prepares for the general elections.

“Basing on Saturday’s election results, Zanu PF will now have a platform to falsely claim that elections in Zimbabwe are held in a free and fair manner and there is no need to for electoral reforms,” added Chikwinya.

The former Kwekwe legislator also highlighted that Mliswa as an independent candidate had been aided by the current divisions in the ruling party adding the securocrats  had no hand.

“We should be aware that Mliswa managed to win the Norton parliamentary seat because of internal factional fights in Zanu PF were even its candidate was imposed.  For the first time since 1980, this election is the only one where the securocrats stayed clear from the process,” they added.

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