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VP Mujuru not defeated

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KEY ELECTIONS: First election results announced

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By Mutongi Gava

DOUBT was cast on election data provided by Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Monday night after it emerged that Vice President Joice Mujuru had in fact comfortably retained her parliamentary seats, quashing MDC claims she had been beaten.

On Sunday, MDC national chairman Lovemore Moyo claimed Mujuru was one of several ministers in President Robert Mugabe’s cabinet who had been defeated by opposition candidates in last Saturday’s general elections.

But official results released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Monday night showed Mujuru had scored a comprehensive 13 236 votes, leaving the MDC’s Gora Madzudzo trailing with 1792 votes in the rural Zanu PF fortress of Mt Darwin.

Another Zanu PF big hitter, Saviour Kasukuwere, claimed by the MDC to have been defeated, easily retained his seat, polling 9105 votes to beat the MDC’s Joel Mugariri with 3698 and Independent Taodzera Maxwell with 380 votes.

Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge also won the Masvingo North constituency, the results showed.

The latest released results had Zanu PF ahead with 26 seats to the MDC’s 25, and a single seat for the Arthur Mutambara faction of the MDC from Bulilima East where Norman Mpofu edged it by a mere 76 votes.

Results continued to trickle in late Monday, over 36 hours after polls closed. The opposition MDC continued to make claims it had won the elections, accusing election officials of delaying results in order to rig, a charge the ZEC denies.

The results have already confirmed Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa lost to an MDC candidate in Makoni Central. The MDC had also made significant inroads into what is traditionally Zanu PF strongholds – claiming Zaka West, Zaka East, Zaka Central, Mazoe Central and Chipinge East.

Chinamasa was trounced in Makoni Central by John Nyamande of the MDC. Chinamasa polled 4 050 to Nyamande’s 7 060 votes.

Another Zanu PF heavyweight who fell by the way side is Public Affairs Minister Chenhamo Chimutengwende who lost the Mazowe Central seat to the MDC.

The MDC was also won in Mashonaland West, Mugabe’s home province. They claimed the Kadoma Central seat with 8 180 votes compared to 2 738 for Zanu PF.

The MDC was also dominant in urban areas, although that is not much of a surprise.

But where Zanu PF is strong, like the hinterland Uzumba, they posted wide margins over opposition candidates which could be a key factor in the presidential election count. In Uzumba, Zanu PF polled 13 306 to the MDC’s 2 156. In Maramba-Pfugwe, which used to be joined with Uzumba, Zanu PF drew 14 916 votes to the MDC’s 1947.

Election results were expected to continue being announced late into Monday, and early Tuesday with analysts predicting the presidential election results could be further delayed.
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