Mugabe should know we are hungry, say villagers

Villagers here have castigated President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party for allegedly forcing them to contribute either cash or in kind towards the hosting of the party’s national conference slated for Chinhoyi next month.

According to the villagers, many of whom are battling hunger, war veterans and party youths are demanding cash or even livestock, threatening them with either death or eviction if they refuse.

They are also told that if they do not contribute something they will not benefit from the farming inputs scheme or relief food aid.

Nhamo Chiori from Magombedze village told The Zimbabwean “We are being forced to donate something even if we do not support Zanu (PF). Those who resist are threatened with death and are labelled MDC-T supporters.

Even some Zanu (PF) supporters in the area are not happy with the fund-raising exercise.

“We voted for President Mugabe and for him to continue asking money from us is very unfair,” said a man who chose to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation. “In fact this should be pay-back time for him to thank us for voting for him. We are hungry and we need food from the government and the president should know this”, he said

Tinos Mhare said he was nearly assaulted after telling party activists with a begging bowl that he did not support Zanu (PF).

“I told them that I could not contribute even a single cent because I do not support president Mugabe and his party,” said Mhare.

Chief Phineas Makore of Gutu said: “I have heard many people complaining about this and I am urging those responsible to stop harassing innocent villagers. Zanu (PF) officials in Masvingo this week denounced the harassment of villagers under the guise of fund raising. “We are urging those who are being forced to donate to report to the police because this is illegal,” added the official.

According to media reports Zanu (PF) needs a staggering $3 million to host the 5,000 delegates expected at the conference.

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