Blessings Mashaya 11 March 2017
HARARE – The countrywide tour by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, pictured,
has reignited victimisation of opposition activists in rural areas, a
political pressure group has said.
Tsvangirai recently wrapped up a 29-day countrywide tour under which he
met ordinary citizens.
In the aftermath of the engagements, the Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye
iZimbabwe group says there have been “disturbing reports of threats and
victimisation of villagers”.
“Victimisation of villagers for simply associating with a party of their
choice is a blatant violation of the Zimbabwean Constitution,” it said.
MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu also confirmed that villagers were being
terrorised after Tsvangirai’s tour.
“We are not at all surprised to learn that opposition activists in rural
areas are now being targeted for persecution soon after Tsvangirai’s . . .
countrywide meet-the-people tour,” he said, adding that “Zanu PF has
always survived on terror, banditry, violence, intimidation and thuggery”.
“The ailing, bankrupt and fractured Zanu PF regime is extremely paranoid
and insecure because they know they can never win a free and fair
election, especially against Tsvangirai and the MDC that he leads.
“This is the main reason why the collapsing regime has literally
ring-fenced most rural areas and made them protected villages of terror,
violence and intimidation,” he said.
“However, our game plan is very effective as we have managed to penetrate
all rural areas on a continuous programme of consulting our party
structures and other opinion leaders such as traditional leaders, church
leaders, students, small-scale miners and various other stakeholders.
“The MDC is surely on a roll and this has made the faction-infested and
crumbling Zanu PF regime feel very insecure and threatened,” Gutu said.
Efforts to get comment from police spokesperson Charity Charamba were
fruitless as her mobile phone went unanswered.
Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe also called on chiefs to stop meddling
“We implore traditional leaders to respect the country’s supreme law and
refrain from meddling in politics,” it said.
The Constitution explicitly states under Section 281 (2) that traditional
leaders must not participate in partisan politics.
“In a nutshell, traditional leaders have become more of an extension of
the ruling party and are abusing their authority to fan violence and
hatred against perceived and known opponents of the regime.”
The group said chiefs must support the interests of all Zimbabweans not to
back one political party.