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Themba Mliswa Beats Zanu PF Candidate in Highly-Contested Parly By-Election

Themba Mliswa

Independent candidate Themba Mliswa has won the Norton parliamentary by-election, which featured a Zanu PF candidate whose campaign team included two vice presidents drawn from President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party.

According to social media sites monitored by VOA Studio 7 from Washington, Mliswa beat the ruling party candidate Ronald Chinedza and David Choga of the National Constitutional Assembly led by Lovemore Madhuku in the highly contested poll to replace war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa, who was axed from Zanu PF for allegedly undermining the authority of the president and First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Mliswa, whose supporters clashed with Zanu PF activists in the run up to the by-election, vowed to fight to the bitter end after he was unceremoniously kicked out of the party a year ago following claims that he teamed up with former Vice President Joice Mujuru and several other senior Zanu PF officials to overthrow Mr. Mugabe.

Mliswa was chairman of Zanu PF’s Mashonaland West province and Member of Parliament for Hurungwe West before he was kicked out of the ruling party.

In the run up to the by-election, Zanu PF which appears to be currently devastated by factionalism, enlisted the services of vice presidents Emerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, who allegedly belong to two different factions fighting over the succession of Zimbabwe's 92 year old leader.

Mnangagwa allegedly leads a Zanu PF group calling itself Lacoste and Mphoko is in a faction said to be led by Mrs. Mugabe known as Generation 40, featuring the party’s national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, Higher Education Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and some ruling party stalwarts.

Mnangagwa and Mrs. Mugabe allegedly habour presidential ambitions. They have dismissed these claimed as baseless.

Studio 7 will give you more details of the election results Sunday.