Militia bases set up to persuade villagers

zanupf_thugsNYANGA Zanu (PF) has established secret militia bases in Masvingo and some parts of Manicaland province, according to reports from the area.

The party was said to have had deployed youths at the bases, who were being used to intimidate villagers. The MDCs provincial director for elections and MP for Masvingo Central constituency, Jefferyson Chitando, said his party was aware of the bases.

We are aware that some youths are already being sponsored by Zanu (PF) so that they terrorise villagers, thereby trying to manipulate the people so that they will be afraid to freely contribute in any democratic process which might want their input, he said.

We have been informed of the latest developments, but we urge Zanu (PF) that it will not manage to win the people by intimidating them. Zanu (PF) is scaring people away by trying to have militia bases in every district, said Chitando.??

Masvingo West MP Tichaona Mharadze said: Zanu (PF) has set a base in my constituency at Mushandike. Soldiers are also seen at the base training the youths. The people in my area are not very sure of what will happen to them.

In Mwenezi, anyone thought to have MDC links was being ordered to surrender their party regalia and membership cards while time still permits.??

Its like we are approaching an election again. We are not very sure of what is actually going on because there is a base near Maranda where some youths are camping. Soldiers who were urging villagers to adopt the Kariba draft constitution are still in the area, said Givemore Vandirai.??

A parliamentary select team is due to go around the country to seek peoples views on a new constitution for the country. However, there have been reports that Zanu (PF) has been coercing people to accept the Kariba draft without any amendment.

Zanu (PF) provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke dismissed claims that his party had set up militia bases.

They are crying babies…they have been always like that; it is their way of trying to blackmail Zanu (PF) because they are aware Zanu (PF) will never again lose an election in rural areas.

In Nyanga, militia bases were said to have re-emerged in Nyanga North and Makoni district with armed personnel threatening villagers with death if they refused to support the Kariba draft.

Douglas Mwonzora, MDC Nyanga North MP and co-chair of the constitution select committee, told journalists at the weekend that he had seen militia bases in his constituency.

I havetold the police to dismantle them. I have also engaged the principals in the global political agreement that that they should make sure that the bases should be dismantled with immediate effect. We have also discovered that there are armed people who have established bases in Makoni district, he said.

Meanwhile in Masvingo, there were ugly scenes of violence at the war veterans elections on Sunday. Scores of people were injured.?

The poll saw Isaac Gonese trouncing Zanu (PF) womens league chair, Shylet Uyoyo with 142 votes to 45. The result makes him the candidate to contest for a national post at the war veterans congress on Saturday.

Uyoyo disrupted the process, throwing the ballot box at the face of Tranos Huruva, the returning officer.

The elections are null and void. You rigged the vote, because he (Gonese) is from your faction, claimed Uyoyo.

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