via Surrender regalia or else: Zanu | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe
MDC-T supporters here have been ordered to surrender their party cards and regalia to Zanu (PF) officials or face retribution for their political affiliation.
Sources told The Zimbabwean that the directive was issued by Zanu (PF) branch Chairman for Ward 10, Charles Mugabe.
The sources said that known MDC-T activists in the area had since complied with the order. Village heads, the sources said, are coordinating the process by identifying people in their villages who refused to vote with the assistance of Zanu (PF) officials in the July 31 elections.
Uzumba recorded a high number of cases of politically motivated violence during the 2008 elections. The violence was mostly perpetrated by Zanu (PF) militia and war veterans.
“When it was announced that Zanu (PF) had won the election, the party’s activists started moving around villages targeting known MDC-T supporters whom they ordered to surrender their party regalia and join Zanu (PF). Some of us are well known for supporting the MDC-T and we had no option but to give in to the demand,” said the source.
The sources said that prior to the election, MDC-T supporters were denied access to grinding mills at various shopping centres while lorry drivers were ordered not to transport produce from the party’s supporters.
The sources said that those who surrendered their party regalia had their names scrapped from the sanctions list.
“We were told that the restrictions that had been placed upon us were lifted because we had accepted reform. However, the other problem is that when you go to surrender your regalia, the Zanu (PF) officials tell you to provide them with the names of other people who supported the MDC during the elections,” said the source.
When contacted for comment, MDC-T losing candidate for Uzumba, Peckson Kazingizi, confirmed the development, saying it was a serious cause for concern.
“Village heads are the ones coordinating the process. Every village head has a register and they are targeting people who refused to be assisted in casting their votes. The practice is mostly pronounced in Chipfunde village where people have been warned against reporting issues to the newspapers,” said Kazingizi.
Mashonaland East police provincial Spokesperson, Bulisani Bhebhe, said the situation in the province was peaceful.