ZANU-PF has won the two council by-elections that were held in Matabeleland South province on Saturday, reinforcing its popularity among Zimbabweans.

The ruling party was among the parties that contested Beitbridge East Ward 15 and Matobo North Ward 25 local authority elections.

The seats fell vacant following the deaths last year of two councillors who were Zanu-PF members.

In Beitbridge East Ward 15, Cde Rabson Mbedzi won after he garnered 638 votes while Mr Victor Moyo of MDC Alliance received 54 votes.

Zanu-PF candidate for Matobo North Ward 25 Cde Sibonginkosi Dube got 483 votes while her closest competitor Mr Elkana Sibanda of MDC Alliance got 121 votes.

Zanu-PF Matabeleland South provincial secretary of information and publicity Cde William Dewa confirmed the party’s victory and attributed it to unity among the party members.

“We won the by-elections for the two wards that were vacant in the province; in Beitbridge Ward 15 and Matobo North Ward 25.

“The victory confirms that Zanu-PF has always been strong and is still strong in the province. And the best way forward is for the party to remain united in its structures.

“There is that sense of unity in the party which is a good recipe for good results,” he said.

The party’s Youth League chairman in the province Cde Washington Nkomo said Zanu-PF’s people driven policies contributed to the party’s victory.

Cde Nkomo said party supporters are happy with the economic reforms that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is implementing.

“It’s a sign of confidence from the people at grass roots level.

“They voted for the party because they are aware of its programmes and initiatives to improve their lives.

“We dare the opposition to come and try and penetrate the province but results will expose them for who they are,” said Cde Nkomo.

In the 2018 harmonised elections, Zanu-PF won 12 out of 13 National Assembly seats in Matabeleland South and the MDC Alliance only managed one seat.

Zanu-PF also took an early lead prior to the harmonised elections last year as it was unopposed in various wards in the province.

For example, Cde Sibongile Chauke was elected unopposed in Beitbridge Rural District Council Ward 13, while in Matobo North constituency, Cdes Tobias Sibanda, Thomas Ncube and Paul Ncube sailed through unopposed in Wards 22, 23 and 24 respectively.Chronicle