Source: Army campaigning for Zanu PF in Hwange, Binga; 2008 repeat fears abound
The officer who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation, said they had already been to other parts of Matabeleland provinces on similar orders.
Soldiers were last deployed ahead of elections in 2008 when a reign of terror that claimed hundreds was unleashed in Zimbabwe’s rural areas.
“We are supposed to be in Hwange rural and Binga by this week for Zanu PF campaigns,” said the soldier who surprisingly found nothing wrong with it.
“These are just orders and we just have to follow them as if they are coming from government.”
The move has raised fears it could be preparing for a third reign of terror after Gukurahundi massacres just after independence and politically motivated violence of 2008.
Binga legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda told NewZimbabwe.com they were ready for the military and will not flee Zanu PF violence.
His Hwange counterpart Daniel Molokele did not answer his phone.
“One thing that is obvious is that this coming election is going to be violent. Everyone can see that ED is aware of his imminent loss at the polls.
“Let them come with violence, we will deal with it. Let them not be fooled we will not allow them to do as they please. We are ready for them,” said Dubeko.
Dubeko, who beat Zanu Pf at the March 2022 by-elections further declared no amount of coercion will unseat him at this year’s elections.
He added: “They do not have enough resources to beat me, my resources are people, they do not have people. If they are going to do so, they will have to fix the country; as long as they cannot I will beat them hands down.”
Analysts and civil society organisations (CSOs) have predicted a bloody election despite promises by police to protect all involved.
Already opposition two Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) have been killed, tens arrested while others who include St. Mary’s legislator Job Sikhala were jailed.
Three Zanu PF members were arrested recently for flogging elderly members of the CCC at a meeting in rural Murewa.
Zimbabwe has a dark history of politically motivated violence which it has struggled to shrug off. — NewZimbabwe