By Bulawayo Correspondent
Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) has attributed the secessionist’s party’s dismal performance in the Lupane East by-election to lack of resources and vote-buying by Zanu PF.
Zanu PF’s candidate, Mbongeni Dube won the mini poll after he garnered 6 369 votes while his closest contender Dalumuzi Khumalo (MDC-Alliance) polled 4 505 votes. MRP’s candidate Andrew Tshaba polled a paltry 81 votes.
In an interview with New Zimbabwe.com, the party’s president Mqondisi Moyo said despite the loss, his party will continue to challenge the Zanu PF led government about the Gukurahundi atrocities.
“As MRP, we will continue to expose and challenge Zanu PF terrorism against our people as we believe we are the only solution to the Mthwakazi woes. The same Zanu PF which unleashed genocide in Lupane and other areas in Mthwakazi is still at the helm and unrepentant. Actually, due to lack of resources our campaign team only campaigned in Lupane for two weeks before the election,” said Moyo.
He also claimed that people in Lupane preferred to vote for Zanu PF because they were afraid of a repeat of the state sponsored violence which killed an estimated 20 000 in Midlands and Matebeleland provinces during the 80s.
“The parcelling out of resources of Lupane East will still continue by Zanu PF and we know that people still vote for Zanu PF because of the fear that was instilled in them through the genocide.
“The ruling party still deceive our people by giving them hand-outs during elections in the form of maize meal thereby abusing state resources,” the MRP president said.
Moyo said although the by elections have gone, numerous challenges still continue to confront the people in the area.
“Shona (speaking) teachers, police officers and nurses will still be there regardless of them voting for Zanu PF. Lupane timber will still be taken to Harare whilst the timber is harvested in the area. The short and long of it is that Lupane East constituency has not been saved considering the fact that our people have been reduced to destitute because of Zanu PF maladministration,” said the MRP president.
The MDC Alliance has also accused Zanu PF of vote buying after a letter in which Health Minister Obadiah Moyo agreed to restock clinics in the constituency was leaked ahead of the by-election.
The Lupane East seat fell vacant following the death of the ruling party MP Sithembile Gumbo in April due to injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.