Zimbabwe’s new opposition : How Mugabe’s close allies won

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ZANU PF has lost control of Zimbabwe’s parliament in the biggest power shift since the country won independence from Britain in 1980. Robert Mugabe’s revolutionary party is now an opposition. Ofiical figures show that Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) took 99 seats, while Mugabe’s party polled 97.

from our correspondent in Harare

The other MDC faction got 10 one going to Professor Jonathan Moyo, an
independent. The MDC split into two factions in 2005.

Results of senate votes will be issued next. No official announcements have been made on the outcome of the presidential elections.

The MDC’s dramatic win in parliament saw seven ministers fall by the wayside as the party penetrated deep into Mugabe’s traditional rural strongholds.

Mugabe is not the only one of the Zanu-PF top brass currently nursing a massive head-ache. Seven of his cabinet ministers fell by the wayside, most of them in the rural areas where Zanu-PF has traditionally reigned supreme.

Not only did the MDC penetrate the former Zanu-PF rural strongholds this time around the party also claimed several prized scalps there.
Manicaland was particularly devastated. Patrick Chinamasa (Justice), Joseph Made(Agriculture), Mike Nyambuya of Energy and Transport, as well as Transport Minister Chris Mushowe failed to with stand the wrath of the voters in Manicaland.

Unlikely change of name

Ardent Mugabe supporter and Women Affairs and Gender Minister, Oppah Muchinguri, was also summarily disposed of. She had registered for election under the name Charm Zvipanga.

In Mashonaland Chen Chimutengwende, Minister of Public and Interactive Affairs proved to be not too interactive with the voters and they ditched him in Mazowe Central in favour of an MDC candidate. It looks like Mines Minister will be looking for a new job after voters humiliated him in Epworth.

Miracles for the royal family

Miraculously all of Mugabe closest allies, including the so-called Young Turks, all survived the purge, all of them in the provinces of Mashonaland Central and West.

By some coincidence it is members of this select club that scored some of
the highest victories of the election.

Vice President Joice Mujuru secured 13 296 votes in Mt Darwin West, while Zanu-PF political commissar won 9093 votes in Bindura North Constituency. Earlier reports suggested that Manyika had been badly thrashed at the polls.

The reports allegedly emanated from those who had seen the results posted outside the polling stations. His fortunes appear to have subsequently changed while rumours flew around that he had allegedly shot someone and been arrested.
In Shamva North and Mt Darwin South Mugabe blue-eyed boys Nicholas Goche and Saviour Kasukuwere won 10 386 and 10 9 372 ballots respectively.

In the Midlands sporadic presidential hopeful, Emmerson Munangangwa, more than compensated for his previous humiliation by Blessing Chebundo of the MDC in Kwekwe, by securing an impressive 9 646 votes in the constituency of Chirumhanzu Zibagwe.

Meanwhile, in Manicaland State Security minister confounded his many detractors and critics by sailing through to a surprise victory with 7 267 votes.

A dog fight an a round figure

Further south in Buhera Central Zanu-PF stalwart Kumbirai Kangai was finally forced into retirement by the MDC. In Buhera South the indomitable Zanu-PF foot-soldier, Joseph Chinotimba, is currently licking his wounds after he put up a spirited fight but failed to convince the voters that he could be trusted to represent them in the capital city.

Back in Zvimba another of the Mugabe acolytes Ignatius Chombo, the controversial local government minister, who is largely credited with bringing the former Sunshine City of Harare down to its knees, somehow managed to extract a round figure from the voters – 7 000.

A delayed voting to favour MDC

The MDC, having swept 11 contested seats in the second largest city of Bulawayo, may yet claim an eighth member of Mugabe’s outgoing cabinet – Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu — when voters go to the polls in Mpopoma constituency where the election was delayed by the death of Milford Gwetu, a Mutambara MDC candidate and incumbent MP.

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