BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
A ZANU PF councillor in Chikomba district is under fire after allegedly threatening to perpetrate violence on opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party members who benefited from the land reform programme.
Tafadzwa Mukandi, a ward 10 councillor in Chivhu, last week threatened opposition supporters in the resettlement area during a discussion on WhatsApp with residents.
The residents were condemning political violence and called for peace in the country ahead of the 2023 polls.
But Mukandi responded saying that Zanu PF will not tolerate sell-outs.
“Some people died for this country yet you want us to tolerate sell-outs,” Mukandi wrote on the social media platform.
“If we see that you have gone against the ideologies of the party, we will definitely come for you. This party (Zanu PF) is the very party that enhanced the land reform programme to which you are beneficiaries. But when we see that you are working against the gains of the liberation struggle, we will not tolerate that and we will definitely come for you.”
When asked to further comment on the issue by NewsDay, Mukandi said he was only emphasising the Zanu PF party ideology against “sell-outs” to Chivhu residents.
“The party slogan has always been there before we were even born. We have to support it. What I am doing is explaining to people for them to understand what it means when we are saying down with sell-outs. There is nothing new here. Those people who are concerned about the declaration that sell-outs must be killed are the ones who really know that they are sell-outs. For someone who is not a sell-out, that they must be killed is just an empty threat,” he said.
Chivhu Residents and Ratepayers Alliance chairperson Collen Zvarevashe said some residents were living in fear because they were no longer free to support a political party of their choice.
“Unfortunately some residents did not take the councillor’s sentiments lightly. They are living in fear. Some are afraid that they might lose their land if they are suspected of supporting political parties other than Zanu PF. Others are afraid that they will be targeted as victims of political violence in the upcoming general election. We are currently taking the necessary steps to ensure that the councillor is reprimanded to promote violent-free 2023 elections,” Zvarevashe said.
Zanu PF political commissar Michael Bimha distanced the party from Mukandi’s sentiments.
“We recognise that Zimbabwe is a multi-party system. We believe in the politics of tolerance. What we are doing is mobilising more people to join our party Zanu PF. You have seen a growing number of returnees from other opposition parties who are stampeding to join the ruling party. We do not force people to join the party. They come on their own and Zanu PF is always ready to welcome new supporters and of course, we respect individuals’ rights and choices,” Bimha said.
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