THE Joice Mujuru-led opposition Zimbabwe People First says it has pulled all the stops to ensure a resounding victory for its parliamentary candidate, Kudakwashe Gopo, in the Bikita West by-election this weekend.
Gopo’s election agent, Desire Nyahunda, told Southern Eye yesterday that losing the by-election, the first to be contested by his party, would signal a death knell for Mujuru’s political project.
He said they were confident of winning the seat despite the widespread intimidation, vote-buying and scare tactics by Zanu PF supporters.
“The campaigns are on, temperatures are rising by the day considering the resentment by the constituency to be cowed by Zanu PF threats and goodies. Attempting to unleash violence proved risky to them and they resorted to threatening the unknown after elections, if they lose,” Gopo said.
“Zanu PF cannot survive without vote-buying and it is a ploy that they have always used. They are dishing rice, seed, maize, fertilisers among other goodies.”
ZimPF interim youth spokesperson, Khulani Ndlovu, said ruling party supporters had resorted to threatening unspecified action should the party lose, but Zanu PF has denied the accusations.
“Despite intimidation, which varies from issuing electronic cards, purporting to be election agents taking a pre-vote exercise to ascertain whom the electorate voted, and other tactics, losing Bikita West is not an option. In this terrain, ZimPF stands the highest chances of grabbing the seat,” he said.
Gopo will contest against Zanu PF’s Beauty Chabaya, independent candidate and former MP, Heya Shoko, Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe’s Terrence Makumbo, National Constitutional Assembly’s Maddock Chivasa and another independent, Innocent Muzvimbiri. – Newsday