VILLAGERS in Tsholotsho North constituency have accused Zanu PF parliamentary candidate Jonathan Moyo of coercing them to attend his campaign rallies.
By Benson Dube
The villagers claimed early this week village heads were on Saturday and Sunday summoned to Chief Mathuphula’s homestead, where they were ordered to monitor their subjects’ voting patterns in the forthcoming June 10 by-elections.
The village heads were reportedly told to keep a register of their subjects and instruct them to vote for Moyo.
However, Moyo yesterday denied the claim, saying: “I have no authority or power or desire to do that.”
But MDC-T sources said village heads were ordered to follow the directive or risk unspecified action.
“Moyo called all the village heads to Chief Mathuphula’s kraal and ordered them to have a register of their villagers during the election day, adding that those who will not be there will be dealt with accordingly, though he did not specify the action to be taken,” claimed MDC-T Matabeleland North provincial chairperson Thembinkosi Sibindi.
Sibindi added that Moyo on Sunday summoned village heads and their subjects to the chief’s homestead, where he slaughtered two beasts for them.
“Moyo slaughtered two beasts at Chief Mathuphula’s kraal and bought a truck load of opaque beer in an effort to lure them so that they do not attend the scheduled MDC–T rally in the area,” he said.
“The law does not allow two rival parties to have meetings in the same area, but he did this without police clearance.”
A villager in Jimila, George Gumbo, said mostly non-Zanu PF members were now living in fear following the developments.
“Villagers are now afraid of the resurgence of Fifth Brigade as there are not specifying the action that will be taken should we not vote for Moyo,” he said. “They might send the army if we do not go and vote.”
This comes amid reports that Moyo’s campaign teams were distributing donated Chinese rice while the government has promised to drill several boreholes in what has been widely viewed as a vote-buying gimmick.
Moyo, who lost the July 2013 constituency race to MDC-T’s Roselyn Nkomo, is contesting the by-election against two independent candidates, Busani Ncube and Getrude Sibanda.