Army campaigns for Zanu (PF)

In a desperate attempt to prop up the dwindling support base for Zanu (PF) in rural areas, the partisan Zimbabwe National Army has embarked on an `input donation` scheme across the country.

The exercise is being bankrolled by the army charity programme run by ZNA Commander Lieutenant Phillip Sibanda. The inputs were sourced from seed houses like Pannar. On Wednesday, over 21 chiefs from Manicaland province gathered in Nyanyadzi were they received the inputs from Major General Martin Chedondo.

Villagers who gathered at the venue were told that the army was working with chiefs to make sure that Zanu (PF) regained all the seats it lost to MDC-T during the 2008 harmonised elections. The controversial Infantry Brigade Commander, Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba also warned villagers not to vote against President Robert Mugabe as “he was not going anywhere”.

“We are giving chiefs inputs to feed the people so that they cannot sell their country to NGOs because of hunger,” said Nyikayaramba, clad in army regalia. Political analyst said the dolling out of the inputs by ZNA was a ploy to buy the loyalty of traditional leaders ahead of the crucial election next year.

Evans Mutambara, a local villager, said they were not happy that the army was using the chiefs to reverse the will of people.

“We are not happy about this exercise. If they are genuine why can’t they donate to vulnerable groups such as the disabled, orphans and the elderly?

They are trying to influence the chiefs so that they can force us to vote for Zanu (PF),”complained Mutambara.

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