BY MOSES MATENGA
OPPOSITION MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday said he would now head to Manicaland province after his tour of Masvingo province last week turned violent and he was allegedly teargassed by the police and had his convoy attacked by suspected Zanu PF activists.
Chamisa told NewsDay that his party was putting more energy into interactions with rural people as there was a lot of developmental work which needed to be done in the villages after years of neglect by the Zanu PF government.
“I now stay in rural areas, I only visit Harare,” Chamisa said.
“I will be in another area this week because the challenges are in the rural areas. We have problems with water, infrastructure and a whole lot of issues, and that’s why at one point, we had a whole ministry dedicated to that. It’s only that they did not understand its importance.
“For one to understand rural problems, you have to stay with them (rural people), and I personally grew up in the village and that is where I am staying and am only visiting Harare so that I understand more of what needs to be done.”
Chamisa said there was need for rural areas to be developed so that they do not become centres of abuse by the “unpopular” to coerce the marginalised communities into supporting them.
He condemned the use of violence in rural areas, saying those engaging in such acts were aware that they were unwanted and unpopular.
“Violence is an instrument of the weak and losing. Nobody deploys violence in their strongholds, never. It’s a lie that Zanu PF has a rural stronghold, I have seen it,” Chamisa said.
“The relic (of Zanu PF) is terror, weaponisation of food aid and Zanu PF support programmes. That is their only life support. They have no organic connection with the masses, vakapiwa gupuro (they were divorced by the masses).”
Zanu PF boasts a strong rural support that has seen the party winning with huge margins, while the MDC Alliance has a strong visibility in urban areas.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been campaigning vigorously to win the urban vote accusing the MDC Alliance of failing to provide service delivery to the people.
Zanu PF director for information Tafadzwa Mugwadi yesterday described Chamisa’s village trips as “provocative” and as “theatrics” that are only meant to get the attention of the United Nations special rapporteur on sanctions, Alena Douhan, who is expected to jet in today.