A member of Parliament expelled from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF party,Temba Mliswa, has defeated a candidate for his former party in a tightly contested by-election in the Norton constituency, a small town 40 kilometres west of here, over the weekend.

Mliswa, who contested as an independent, garnered 8927 votes on Saturday to beat Ronald Chindedza of Zanu PF, who obtained 6,192. A third candidate, David Choga of the National Constitution Assembly party, polled only 89 votes.

Mliswa campaigned for the seat with the support of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) despite incidents of alleged abductions, gross violence, voter intimidation, and vote-buying by the governing party.

MDC-T Vice-President Nelson Chamisa last Sunday called a rally at Ngoni Stadium in the small town, which, however, was allegedly disrupted by Zanu PF supporters and riot police, the latter who tear-gassed opposition supporters.

On the other hand, Zimbabwe Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his colleague, Phelekezela Mphoko, took turns to canvass for support for Chindedza.

After the loss, Kasukuwere conceded defeat through a post on a social media site. "Norton has eluded us. Key lessons have been learnt. Thank you to our supporters for coming out and voting for our candidate," he said.

Mliswa was expelled from Zanu PF at the beginning of last year and he lost the Hurungwe West seat. His crime was allegedly siding with former vice-president Joice Mujuru and other top former Zanu PF leaders, such as former state security minister Didymus Mutasa, former labour minister Nicholas Goche, and former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, all accused of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.

A by-election was held in June 2015, where Mliswa contested the seat, but lost to Keith Guzah. Following the recall of former Norton legislator Christopher Mutsvangwa in July this year, Mliswa vied for the Norton seat.

He also had the support of war veterans in the form of his constituency predecessor Mutsvangwa Douglas Mahiya.