HARARE – Build Zimbabwe Alliance leader Noah Manyika, has taken his presidential campaign to rural areas, holding a series of meetings with chiefs and villagers in Manicaland yesterday.
Riding on a wave of resentment against worsening economic hardships, Manyika told villagers in chief Nyashanu’s area in Buhera that the ruling party has failed the nation, particularly the rural folk.
“I came here a few weeks ago, I saw some women are crushing stones for a living. We can’t allow our sisters, mothers and wives to continue living like this. It’s very sad for our country.
“Our war as Build Zimbabwe is against poverty,” Manyika told the villagers.
“The ruling party has neglected the rural people; you only see them coming here driving luxury cars during election periods. After you vote for them, they will disappear.
“As Build Zimbabwe, we want to operate differently. We are going to make sure that if a person is elected to represent a certain constituency, he or she must visit and engage those people regularly.”
In previous elections, opposition parties have struggled to break Zanu PF’s stranglehold in the rural hinterland. But Manyika told the villagers that it is high time to vote out the “corrupt” Zanu PF government.
“Corruption and nepotism are killing our country. Leaders are taking their unqualified relatives to occupy certain positions, creating problems for the whole country.
“You must deal with Zanu PF and vote them out. They have totally failed, we can’t give them another chance,” Manyika said.
The rural population, which lives primarily on subsistence farming and remittances from relatives in urban areas and the Diaspora, has been the hardest hit by the economic meltdown.
Despite the fact that Buhera lies in a resource-rich region, many villagers are wallowing in abject poverty.
Just like the other opposition parties the MDC Alliance and the People’s Rainbow Coalition, Manyika also accused the ruling party of using the army to intimidate rural folk to vote for Zanu PF.
The army has strenuously denied the allegations.
Manyika urged the rural folk not to fear the ruling party’s intimidation tactics.
“This is a free Zimbabwe, you must not fear anyone. This is the time to make the right decision because we want to stop the issue of poverty,” he said.
After various meetings in Buhera, Manyika also meet chiefs in Bikita.
“We met some chiefs in Bikita but I cannot mention them because they want their names to be protected.
“I am happy there are some traditional leaders who are respecting our Constitution and they are allowing us to campaign freely.
“This is a good development for our country,” said the Build Zimbabwe presidential candidate.