Churches and shops forced to close for ZPF rally

Senior officials within ZANU PF forced several churches and all businesses in Biriri district of Chimanimani West, Manicaland to shut down last Sunday, and forced everyone in the area to attend a political rally they had organized.

Local activist Peter Chogura told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, Mutare Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, and Central Committee member Munacho Mutezo, addressed an estimated 400 people at the rally, telling them to victimize anyone who supports the MDC and to deny them state funded benefits.

“All the churches such as the Methodists, United Baptists and even the African Apostolic Church were closed for the rally. And all the shops at Biriri Business Center and nearby were also shut down,” Chogura explained.

He added that anyone with a car or truck was ordered to transport people to the venue. White farmers in the area were told to let all their workers go and to use their cars for transport, or they would be evicted from their farms if they refused.

According to Chogura, MDC supporters went to the rally and had to listen to these threats. Many knew that if they had refused they would be put on a list and denied inputs such as maize, seeds and fertilizer, although these inputs are supposed to be given to everyone no matter what party they support.

Chogura said ZANU PF used a gang of thugs that were bused in from Mutare to go around the shops and churches gathering people.

Forcing people to attend rallies has been part of ZANU PF’s strategy around the country for years. Unfortunately, the creation of a coalition government over three years ago has not stopped the victimization of the MDC-T and its supporters.

SW Radio Africa News

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