Source: Villagers vow to resist intimidation – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 12, 2017
A PRO-DEMOCRACY movement, Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe, says it is making strides in penetrating Zanu PF strongholds and teaching the electorate on their constitutional rights to belong to and vote for a political party of their choice.
BY Own Correspondent
At a function held recently in Mudzi, Mashonaland East province, villagers confirmed that cases of intimidation were already being recorded in the area.
According to the villagers, Zanu PF activists were moving around villages threatening a repeat of the 2008 political violence should people vote for a party other than the ruling one.
Villagers who spoke to NewsDay, however, vowed to resist any intimidation, saying Zimbabwe needed transformation which could only come if people remain resolute and vote for democratic change in the country.
The villagers also said they were fed up with numerous electoral promises which were never fulfilled by the ruling party.
“Some of us were supposed to get jobs at the rural district council, but we were openly told that we were not eligible for employment because we belong to a wrong political party. We were blamed for attending events of opposition political parties and threatened with violence in 2018,” Sibongile Nhamburo said.
“But we are saying enough is enough because we have suffered a lot at the hands of the Zanu PF government. They come with so many promises, but our lives are actually getting worse.”
Another villager, Maidei Furusa, said: “We are failing to send our children to school and we are struggling to feed our families, yet some people tell us we should vote for Zanu PF only. But the question is what do we get from voting for Zanu PF? It’s nothing, but poverty. So that is why we are saying no amount of intimidation will deter us from voting for change.”
It also came out during the meeting that opposition activists in Mudzi had been removed from food aid programmes as punishment for differing with the Zanu PF ideology.
“We are no longer benefiting from food aid programmes in this area and we have been told that only Zanu PF supporters will benefit. They can try all sorts of tricks, but that can never stop us from voting for change. We will remain resolute and ensure that Zimbabwe gets the change it so much deserves,” another villager, Shine Pawadyira, said.
Mudzi, which is located in Mashonaland East province, was one of the areas that were hard hit by political violence, largely perpetrated by Zanu PF activists during the 2008 elections.
Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe leader Victor Chimhutu urged villagers to remain strong in light of the threats from the ruling party.
“The time for change is now and no one can stop us. Zanu PF knows fully well that they have failed to deliver and have become so unpopular among the electorate and that is why they are resorting to violence and intimidation,” he said.
“We will be employing various monitoring mechanisms to ensure that any human rights violations are captured by the international community.”
Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe is also mobilising supporters of various opposition parties around the country to encourage their leaders to warm up to the idea of a coalition of opposition political parties against Zanu PF.