ZANU PF has retained the Mwenezi East parliamentary seat after its candidate, Joosbi Omar, romped to victory in a by-election held on Saturday.
Other political parties such as the MDC-T, MDC, NPP and PDP boycotted the vote as part of ongoing efforts to press for reforms ahead of general elections next year.
The seat fell vacant following the death of ZANU PF Member of Parliament, Joshua Moyo, on December 22, last year.
Omar polled 18,700 votes, with rivals Turner Nhango of the little known Free Zimbabwe Congress garnering 482 votes while Welcome Masuku of the National Constitutional Assembly polled 386 votes.
According to information provided by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), 20,200 turned out to vote, representing 41.9% of the total registered voters in the constituency.
In a preliminary statement, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) who were observing the by-election noted that there was a high number of people who were turned away from the polling stations.
“ZESN observed significantly high numbers of turned away voters for various reasons including voters turning up at the wrong polling stations and producing improper identification such as drivers’ licences.
“The highest numbers of turned away voters were recorded in Ward 13, for instance at Vili-Vili Primary School, 39 voters had been turned away by 1600hrs. Some of the voters who turned up at the wrong polling stations were redirected to their specific polling stations.
“Of concern are the long distances that some of the voters had to travel to the redirected stations which were several kilometres away in some instances,” the election observer, noted.
According to ZESN, the winning candidate, was turned away from two polling stations.
“The ZANU PF Candidate Mr Joosbi Omar had to be redirected twice from Chatagwi and Vili-Vili Primary Schools to Muzhanjire Primary School a distance of over 20km before he could cast his vote.
“It is worrying that a candidate had to be redirected twice before he could be allowed to vote an indication that more voter education on the new system is required,” ZESN noted.