Zvinavashe threatens villagers-(15-02-07)

BY GIFT PHIRI
HARARE - The governing Zanu (PF) party has resorted to a mix of threats and intimidation as it battles to secure the forthcoming Chiredzi South special election, with the ruling party's campaign manager retired General Vitalis Zvinavashe threatening gullible villagers that if his pa

rty loses it would be viewed as a rebellion and that the army would be unleashed on the province to deal with “dissidents.”
Zvinavashe, a retired four-star General who was commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, now Gutu Senator, told a rally at Chikombedzi Growth Point recently that if the ruling party lost the election to the “British-sponsored MDC”, Chiredzi South would be viewed as a constituency inhabited by enemies of the State comprising “British puppets”.
Consequently, said the general, government would cut food aid and deploy soldiers to the province to deal with the rebellious residents.
Zvinavashe told the timid crowd: “If the ruling party lose in this election then we know that you have rebelled against the government and you know what happens when government is threatened by rebels, we will definitely send our armed forces to deal with the enemy. So I urge (you) to vote wisely or you will regret.”
Tensions were reportedly high in the constituency amid reports that military trucks have been patrolling the constituency ahead of the by-election. The election is a litmus test to the governing party as it would gauge whether Zanu (PF) still commands support in rural constituencies given the deepening economic hardships.

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