By Tonderai Saharo
A low voter turnout marred the Zaka East National Assembly by-election held Saturday with a half of the total registered voters casting their votes.
The constituency had 38 polling stations and of the over 15 000 registered voters, only 8 783 voters came out and took part in the poll which was won by Zanu PF’s Clemence Chiduwa.
Four candidates from Zanu PF, the MDC, NCA and Freezim Congress were eyeing the seat which fell vacant following the death of ruling party lawmaker Ringisai Gumbwanda on June 25 this year.
Chiduwa polled 7 119 votes followed by the MDC’s Derrick Charamba who got 1 518 votes.
The NCA’s Clemence Chavarika got 83 votes while Freezim Congress candidate Mubango Lazarus polled 63 votes.
There were reports of violent skirmishes between Zanu PF and MDC agents. An MDC agent Jabson Zarira claimed he was assaulted by his rival for allegedly taking pictures.
A police report was made at Chivamba Police Base.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s Masvingo Provincial head identified as Pidurai Zarabada however said the election environment was largely peaceful.
While confirming the assault incident, Zarabada said it was outside Zec’s control as it happened beyond the stipulated 300 metre radius.