Muchinguri spearheads Zanu (PF) peace campaign

There is heavy lobbying by doves in Zanu (PF) to abandon the violent campaign which has seriously dented the party’s image, The Zimbabwean has learnt.According to highly-placed sources within the party, a number of senior members felt the violence had to be stopped if the party was to attract meaningful support.

Women’s League boss, Oppah Muchinguri: pleaded for an end to violence.
Women’s League boss, Oppah Muchinguri: pleaded for an end to violence.

Women’s League boss, Oppah Muchinguri, is reportedly spearheading the anti-violence campaign, the sources said. She is said to have pleaded at a recent Politburo meeting for an end to the terror campaign being employed by the party. “I think the campaign is beginning to suffer diminishing returns,” said a Politburo member. “It is clear the campaign is backfiring and it is not doing us any good. The party is now being viewed as a violent party and this will not win us any votes. We have to adopt other strategies. While such a campaign could have worked in the past, times have changed and people are cleverer. They can no longer be intimidated,” said the source.

The anti-violence lobbyists are said to have accused the Harare provincial leadership, pointedly Tendai Savanhu, Amos Midzi and Hubert Nyanhongo of fanning violence.

“Savanhu should stop abusing those youngsters. They have been beating up people all over the place. That is not the way to win votes,” said a ruling party insider.

In an abrupt u-turn, the usually combative Savanhu has of late been preaching anti-violence messages and warning ruling party militias to follow Mugabe’s lead.

But the violence is unrelenting, with Harare being the worst affected. Virtually all areas in Mbare have become ‘no go’ areas because of the Zanu (PF) militias who assault anyone they find without a ruling party card.

The violence has so far claimed the lives of at least 10 people – all MDC supporters. The opposition have been barred from campaigning in Mbare which Zanu (PF) claims it totally controls and is a “liberated zone.”

“The real challenge is for us to filter the message to Chipangano and party supporters on the ground. What we are now trying to do is tell the leadership to pass on the message to their members not to use excessive violence anymore,” said a senior Zanu (PF) official.

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