The MDC-Alliance says it expects to retain the Mutasa Rural District Council’s (MRDC) ward 10 seat in a by-election set for May 11 after High Court judge Justice Isaac Muzenda dismissed an application by the deposed councillor seeking to stop the poll.

Mutasa Central ward 10 Frank Chitembwe had made the application seeking to stop the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) from going ahead with the poll.

Chitembwe filed an urgent High Court application early this month, seeking an order to set aside Zec’s decision to hold the by-election next week.

Mutasa Rural District Council chief executive officer Tonderai Bandura opposed the application.

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Chitembwe was slapped with a two-year jail term for public violence during the January 14-16 fuel price hike protests before he successfully applied for bail pending appeal early this month.

But a nomination court had already sat with three candidates successfully filing their nomination papers to contest the election.

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Mutasa Central MP Trevor Saruwaka said they were ready to win the by-election.

MDC candidate Rose Mukodza will lock horns with Justice Chirimo (NCA) and Magret Tindika of Zanu PF.

“I want to make it clear that ward 10 of Mutasa Central is a strong Zanu PF area, which has been successfully won by MDC candidates since 2008 to date and Zanu PF is going to (again) lose hands down,” Saruwaka said

“This is the ward I come from, so it is going to be easy for me to campaign. Other opposition stalwarts like Mutasa South MP Regai Tsunga comes from the same ward and has already indicated that he would be helping in the campaign.”

Saruwaka added: “Ironically, the current Zanu PF candidate is a former MDC member, who switched parties after being walloped at the 2013 primary elections by the outgoing MDC councillor Frank Chitembwe.”