Zanu (PF)s rent-a-crowd

BULAWAYO - Zanu (PF) last week bussed scores of its supporters from newly resettled farms around Bulawayo to air the party's views at the constitution-making outreach meetings in various wards in the city.

The Zanu (PF) supporters, including war veterans and Zanu (PF) youths, were bussed into the city in ZUPCO buses and party vehicles last Saturday morning and strategically deployed in various wards believed to be strong holds of the MDC-T. There was commotion at the small city hall when MDC youths identified some of the Zanu (PF) youths and war veterans from Shangani and Umguza and asked them to leave the meeting.

The Zanu (PF) supporters, who were led by a war veteran only identified as Moyo, refused to leave. The hired crowd, which was apparently on a party mission to outclass the views of the MDC supporters at the outreach meeting, was eventually

outnumbered by the MDC supporters. During the meeting, the Zanu (PF) supporters were advocating the maintenance of the status quo on issues such as executive powers, system of governments, the judiciary and the land.

“We want to have one President and two vice presidents in the new constitution. We demand that some seats in parliament should be reserved to the war veterans because they fought for this country,” said one of the participants. One of the suspected Zanu (PF) activist at the meeting demanded that President Mugabe should rule Zimbabwe until for the rest of his life.

“This country was born out of blood. I demand that the new constitution should make it clear that people like President Mugabe who liberated us from white colonial bondage should rule this country forever,” he said amid heckling from the crowd. All the proposals advocated by Zanu (PF) activists at the meeting were rejected by a show of raising hands by the crowd. The constitutionmaking outreach programme in the city got off to a chaotic start in the city after it was stalled briefly by striking drivers and technicians over outstanding allowances.

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