By-election looms in Bikita West

via By-election looms in Bikita West | SW Radio Africa  by Tichaona Sibanda  October 3, 2013

A parliamentary by-election is looming in Bikita West in Masvingo province, after ZANU PF’s politburo endorsed the expulsion of Munyaradzi Kereke.

Kereke, a former advisor to the Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, won the Bikita West seat on a ZANU PF ticket but was expelled from the party for indiscipline and failure to follow guidelines.

The controversial Harare based businessman refused to step aside to pave the way for musician Elias Musakwa, who was the party’s official candidate in the July 31st elections. Kereke polled 7,270 votes to Musakwa’s 6,052 in the poll. Heya Shoko of the MDC-T only garnered 3,863.

Following Wednesday’s politburo meeting it was revealed that ZANU PF has already advised the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, to declare the constituency vacant as Kereke is no longer a member of their party.

Section 129 of the new Constitution says that a seat of an MP becomes vacant if the person has ceased to belong to the political party of which they were a member when elected to Parliament.

The decision now means there will be a by-election in Bikita West where Kereke may wish to try his luck as an independent, to test his popularity in the area where he won comfortably. It is believed ZANU PF will field Musakwa as their candidate.

An MDC-T official told us that they will definitely field a candidate if a by-election is called for by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Opposition politician Job Sikhala, whose rural home is just a stones throw away from Bikita West, told SW Radio Africa that he predicts a bruising and brutal fight in the by-election.

‘ZANU PF will be determined and committed to triumph at the end of the day, but the people of Bikita West have always been defiant in voting against imposed candidates.

‘Since 2000, they have always voted for a candidate of their choice and not somebody imposed by either ZANU PF or MDC-T. I know them, vanemusoro unopisa (independent minded) they can brew another shocker in a by-election,’ Sikhala said.