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Travel restrictions imposed in Bikita West
Zimbabwe Peace Project
March 16
, 2005

In a steadfast violation of SADC Principles and Guidelines governing democratic elections, Zanu PF has allegedly imposed travel restrictions on villagers in Bikita West, a move which, according to some locals, is meant to intimidate and stop villagers from getting alternative influence from opposition political parties.

It is asserted that village heads have been tasked to compile daily registers of villagers' movements to prevent 'stray' villagers from visiting towns where they it is feared they are likely to be exposed to other players in the forthcoming general elections.

Mr Claudius Makova, the incumbent MP is alleged to have, in some of his campaign trails, incited his supporters to prevent the MDC from campaigning in the area.

Reports have it that MDC campaign posters have been either removed from trees and walls at various shopping points or seized and burnt by Zanu PF supporters.

Parts of the constituency, so say reports, have been cordoned off and declared no-go areas for the MDC, whose increasing support is said to have riled top Zanu PF officials in the area.

It remains to be seen whether international observers in the country will also be barred from visiting these so-called no-go areas, given the government's repeated announcements that the elections will be peaceful, free and fair.

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