VICTORIA FALLS – Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC says it won the Victoria Falls by-election on Saturday under very difficult circumstances as police banned all their rallies and road shows.
On Saturday, MDC’s Somveli Dhlamini won Victoria Falls’ Ward Nine Council by-election with 238 votes, beating Sambulo Mpofu of Zanu PF who garnered 207 while Atient Ncube of the smaller MDC got 62 and White Julius Willard Phiri of Zapu had five votes.
Six ballot papers were spoilt.
“We went into this election under difficult circumstances, but we won,” Sengezo Tshabangu, the MDC Matabeleland North provincial chairperson told the Daily News.
“The whole of last week we were not allowed to campaign after police banned all our campaign rallies and road shows. They were only allowing Zanu PF rallies to go-ahead.”
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Spiwe Makonese said: “Police in Victoria Falls last week were busy at the meeting of Sadc committee of ministers responsible for Transport and Meteorology which was underway in the resort town.
“And that might be the main reason why those rallies were not cleared, we had not enough manpower. But I will check again with the police officer commanding Victoria Falls.”
Tshabangu claimed the win was clear testimony that the MDC was still very popular.
“Zanu PF rigged the July elections but this time the people of Victoria Falls showed them the exit door,” Tshabangu said.
The Victoria Falls Ward Nine election did not take place on July 31 because mainstream MDC candidate Nkululeko Nyoni died a day before voting commenced.