There was a low turnout in most polling stations in Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo.
At the various polling stations that Studio 7 visited, there were few voters who were coming to cast their ballots after long intervals.
At Stanley Hall in the Makokoba constituency, some residents in the surrounding area were going about their daily business, with some women and children fetching water from a bowser just outside a local polling station.
At other polling stations, including Mpopoma High School in the Mpopoma/Pelandaba constituency and Pumula Community Hall in the Pumula constituency, the turn-out was equally low. By lunch time, nearly 140 people had cast their ballots at the Pumula Community Hall, with 31 having been turned away for various reasons.
Pumula resident, Nomagugu Nkomo, a Pumula resident, said although she knew that there was supposed to be a by-election in her area, she was not sure about the date of the poll.
Nkomo said she expects Zanu PF to win the by-elections, adding that this gives an opportunity for the party to show that it cares about the plight of the people of Bulawayo.
Makokoba resident, Mrs. Virginia Sibanda said she hopes that those who will be elected would do everything they can to help create employment for Bulawayo residents, especially the youths who spend most of their time loitering in the streets.
Mpopoma youth Melusi Tshuma shared similar expectations.
“It is important that whoever is elected prioritizes creating jobs and other opportunities for us the youths.As it is, many of us have good qualifications but we can’t get any jobs. We spend most of our time looking for jobs but we can’t get them anywhere,” said Tshuma.
All Movement for Democratic Change formations have boycotted the polls, saying they will never participate in any elections until there are visible electoral reforms in Zimbabwe.