Rural folks want peace

elderly_men_zimbabweHARARE Sixty-year-old Stanford Hwezhere from Mupatsi village in Hwedza, wants to live a peaceful life and witness the eventual smooth handover of power from Zanu (PF) to MDC. (Pictured: Retired men and women in rural areas want peace and a smooth handover of power to

He was politically victimised in 2008 for receiving cash and material support from children living in urban areas. After 35 years of service as a government employee, I retired to my rural home on life pension. During my three decade service in government as a carpenter with the Ministry of Construction, I managed to provide my four children with good education. They all successfully went through University and are well paid professionals in different occupations.

Their generous support to my family in cash and kind did not go down well with lazy and illiterate Zanu (PF) youths, who accused me of receiving donations from MDC and international donors. I was black-listed and continued to be victimised

by jealous Mugabe followers. They also claimed my thriving coffin-making venture was funded by MDC.

A top victim

This made me one of the top victims of Zanu (PF) violence during political campaigns. Though my strong allegiance to MDC is not a secret, with my children subsidising my welfare, I worked tirelessly to make a living. This irked Zanu (PF). All we wanted as rural communities was to live a peaceful, quiet and honest life. We desire to live a life free from hostility, where political choices are respected. No one should coerce others to subscribe to his political ideology. We want democracy as prescribed in MDC.

Taking nothing from progressive Zanu (PF) officials, we commend Member of Parliament for Chikomba District, Edgar Mbwembwe, for embracing political tolerance. The legislator co-opted all stakeholders including MDC councillors into

constituency development programs. He constantly consulted with people from across the political divide regarding utilization of the government funded US$38 000 Members of Parliament Community Development Fund. He also openly criticised political violence.

After realising the party no longer enjoyed support in urban areas and rural growth points, Zanu (PF) shifted its activities to remote areas such as Matove, Mushipe, Shumba, Mutekedza, Masasa, Nharira and farms around Chivhu area. Mugabes support base was receding from developing rural areas and shifting towards the countrys borders. Eventually the ageing dictators support base would dry up from the country.

Masquerading freedom fighters

The former ruling party now rightfully regards growth points such as Sadza and Hwedza to be MDC strong holds. No literate and right thinking person would continue to support Zanu (PF) and Mugabe in this day and age. What with the

1980s Matabeleland genocide at the hands of Mugabe and the North Korean trained army 5th Brigade, Operation Murambatswina which left thousands of innocent people across the country either homeless or forcibly displaced and the

2008 bloody opposition cleansing campaign following Mugabe and Zanu (PF)s resounding defeat to Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC-T.

In rural areas Zanu (PF) was left with support from a few thugs and war veterans impostors. True war veterans were busy working their fields while common criminals abused innocent people and masqueraded as freedom fighters.

Hwezheres sentiments and aspirations were echoed by hundreds other villagers. They indicated that they had suffered enough under tyranny and wanted to lead violence free lives and witness the inevitable peaceful regime change.

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