Zanu (PF) intensifies political machinations in Uzumba

Zanu (PF) has reportedly hatched a plan to snatch votes in Uzumba by declaring that MDC-T supporters should seek assistance from its officials when they go to cast their votes tomorrow.

The move, sources said, is a calculated plan to ensure that MDC-T supporters do not vote for their party as they would be under the watchful eye of Zanu (PF) officials.

The sources said they have been threatened with violence if they choose to defy the order.

“What we have been told is that we will have to tell the officials at the polling stations that we would like to get assistance in voting and we have already been allocated Zanu (PF) members who are going to be assisting us.

“What this means is that we would not be able to vote for our party because this will attract a heavy penalty and we have already been told that. We have also been warned that those who go to vote alone would be identified as MDC-T supporters,” said a source speaking on condition of anonymity.

MDC-T aspiring Member of Parliament for Uzumba, Peckson Kazingizi, confirmed the development when contacted for comment. He blamed village heads for coordinating the process.

Kazingizi raised concern over the increase in cases of intimidation of MDC-T activists in Uzumba adding that police inaction over the matter was a huge cause for concern.

Uzumba was one of the politically volatile areas in the country during the 2008 elections in which the MDC-T claims it lost more than 200 of its supporters to political violence.

“That is very true. Actually, I have the list of the people from Zanu (PF) who have been tasked with assisting our supporters when they go to vote. The process is being coordinated by village heads and there is also Chief Tapera Zimhondi who this month threatened to deal with all MDC-T supporters in his area.

“We raised the issue with the police but up to now, no action has been taken,” said Kazingizi.

He bemoaned the high levels of “psychological intimidation” of his supporters adding that Zanu (PF) activists had gone on a rampage tearing down MDC posters in the area.

“The intimidation has just gone out of hand. On a daily basis, our supports are being intimidated with unspecified action and our posters are being pulled down as well. Zanu (PF) posters are all over the place but you won’t see any MDC posters here.

“We raised the issue with the police as well but they told us that they will have to seek authority from their superiors,” said Kazingizi.

Kazingizi alleged that Zanu (PF) supporters in Uzumba were violating electoral regulations by continuing with mobilisation campaigns after the expiry of the stipulated timeframe for rallies.

Yesterday, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairperson, Rita Makarau, disclosed that all campaign programmes for political parties should end today at 06:59 am.

When contacted for comment, police spokesperson for Mashonaland East, Bulisani Bhebhe, was reportedly locked in a meeting.

A police officer who answered his phone said he did not have authority to comment on the issue.

Zanu (PF) Chairperson for Mashonaland East, Ray Kaukonde’s mobile phone went unanswered when contacted for comment.

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