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  • Muzarabani people likely to give prejudiced views to COPAC
    Youth Alliance for Democracy
    July 12, 2010

    People in Muzarabani are most likely to give a prejudiced presentation of their views and beliefs following usual intimidation tactics employed by mainly suspected ZANU PF cadres to cow dissenting voices into submission.

    An aspiring MDC-T member of parliament of Muzarabani North Medicine Kagura was axed on Thursday last week and was in critical condition on Friday when the Youth Electoral Bulletin visited him at his home in Mudoka Village. He stated that he was attacked by about nine ZANU PF youths whom he accused of trying to eliminate him so that the party which they pay allegiance to maintains the seat. This was even a serious blow to a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition meeting which was held on Friday, it resulted in a poor turnout since villagers were scared to be associated with the stated Civic Organisation. The villagers were ordered not to attend Civic Society organisations meetings. Known pro democracy activists in the area were also ordered not to attend Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) meetings. To ensure that there is no 'waffling', mouthpieces of villagers in Muzarabani were chosen alongside their seconders. They were given sixty questions and answers which they are supposed to present to COPAC delegation. The role of others in attendance is to clap and ululate as an endorsement to the process. Villagers were further warned that video cameras will be in full force to pick everything said at the meeting. According to interviews carried out by our correspondent in the company of the Muzarabani Electoral Club Chairperson most villagers really believe that and are scared to be found on the contrary path with the system.

    To the people who were contacted, their fears are allayed by the fact that those who perpetrated violence during the past decade are still walking scot-free. The names which came out most are Charles Chinyani (29), Owen Sosono (30), and Itai Chibayanzara (28).These youths were also involved in the burning of an Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Charunda village, over allegations that it is dominated by pro-MDC-T worshippers, well after the inception of the inclusive and no action was taken against these culprits. They even boast and threaten to resort to what they did during the June 27 'elections' if villagers are recalcitrant to 'liberation principles.' The perpetrators are also still seen in the company of influential ZANU PF officials for example Honourable Edward Raradza.There is also a soldier known as Kasengezi,who came during Operation Maguta (a government programme in which soldiers were deployed to distribute seed and other agricultural inputs).They, however, became active in politics by 'dealing' with opposition elements. Army trucks are also sometimes seen roaming around villages. This obviously brings a cloud of uncertainty to the villagers, given the brutal treatment which villagers faced at the hands of these people. A threat that those who are going against ZANU PF will be dealt with accordingly after World Cup has been publicised as well.

    Six Headmen perceived to be sympathetic to MDC-T were deposed from their positions and replaced by those who are 'politically correct'. This operation was carried out by Chief Kasekete, a known ZANU PF sympathiser. Those who were deposed include Headmen Chamburuka, Muzeza, Mbereko and Charunda. The villages which were headed by the latter are also under serious surveillance. Even church meetings have to be reported to the police.

    YAD strongly recommends the distribution of radios to this area since it does not have any cell phone network and access to other means of information dissemination. The area is also left in many programmes since the road networks are also poor and for fear of intimidation civic society organisations are hesitant to conduct programs in Muzarabani. Most youths in this area escape to Mozambique on foot since it is about 50km to get to the boarder as there are no tangible efforts to economically empower them, for those who remain they are easily manipulated by political heavyweights to engage in acts of political retribution. Meanwhile as YAD we are concerned with the levels of polarisation that are in this area and call upon all principals in the inclusive government to shun the use of violence by using their supporters in stifling dissent and predetermining the outcome of the constitution. This level of polarisation if unchecked will militate against the conduct of free and fair elections particularly the referendum.

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