A spokesman for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF said that the party accepts the outcome of Tuesday’s election of a new House speaker despite reported accusations by the official that the ballot was marred by vote-buying.
The state-run Herald newspaper quoted ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo as saying the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai paid the MDC formation of Welshman Ncube $350,000 for its swing votes.
Tsvangirai MDC candidate Lovemore Moyo reclaimed the position with 105 votes compared with 93 votes for ZANU-PF candidate Simon Khaya Moyo, chairman of the former ruling party and a longtime Zimbabwean ambassador in South Africa.
The Tsvangirai MDC had 95 House members eligible to vote while ZANU-PF had 96, but the Ncube MDC wing, which reversed itself on an earlier vow to abstain, had eight votes to cast, prompting speculation two ZANU-PF lawmakers voted for the MDC candidate.
ZANU-PF Chief Whip Joram Gumbo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that it was clear ZANU-PF would lose once the Ncube MDC pledged to back Lovemore Moyo.
Chief Whip Innocent Gonese of the Tsvangirai MDC said his party was happy to see that votes for Lovemore Moyo came from all the parties represented in the House.