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No Zanu PF membership card, no flea market stall
The Standard (Zimbabwe)
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on The Standard (Zimbabwe) website
operators in Chitungwiza's Unit O suburb are being forced
to buy Zanu PF party cards before they are allowed to operate stalls.
The party is
on a massive recruitment drive ahead of this year's national
spoke to The Standard last week said they were being ordered to
support the former ruling party and buy membership cards before
being allowed to operate stalls at Unit O shopping centre.
who refused to be named for the fear of victimisation, said they
have been forced to dance to the Zanu PF tune for a long time.
madness must stop, we are tired of being victimised by the youths
who harass us every time," he said.
place does not belong to Zanu PF and it will never stop us from
voting for whoever we want even if they continue to intimidate us."
Apart from being
forced to buy Zanu PF cards, the traders are also coerced to attend
the party's meetings and burial of heroes and heroines.
who asked not to be named, said they were also being forced to register
as voters and to notify the party after doing so.
advised to go and register as voters after that one is required
to visit the local Zanu PF offices with a paper that serves as a
proof that you have registered and they record you in their book,"
said the trader. "The process is cumbersome."
In the past
few years, flea markets and bus termini in Zimbabwe's urban
areas have become cash cows for financially-struggling Zanu PF.
In Harare, flea
market and other small-scale business operators in Mbare's
Magaba, Green market, Mupedzanhamo and Siya-so are always forced
to fund Zanu PF activities or to attend the party's meetings
or heroes day celebrations.
Those who fail
to attend such events risk losing their stalls, which are a source
of livelihood for most people.
With the general
elections expected this year, most traders feared losing their stalls
to Zanu PF supporters as has been the case in previous polls.
Efforts to get
a comment from Zanu PF spokesperson were fruitless last week but
the party has in the past distanced itself from any form of political
violence, coercion or intimidation.
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