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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Chegutu on lockdown as Zanu PF force people to Mujuru’s rally
    Tichaona Sibanda, SW Radio Africa
    July 25, 2013

    View this article on the SW Radio Africa website

    The town of Chegutu was on virtual lockdown on Thursday as Zanu-PF supporters forced the closure of all shops, market stalls and schools, forcing its inhabitants to attend a rally that was addressed by Vice President Joice Mujuru.

    Those who resisted being frog marched to Pfupajena stadium were beaten up, some in full view of the police who turned a blind eye to the orgy of violence that visited the town.

    Charlton Hwende, the MDC-T parliamentary candidate for Chegutu West, was advised not to campaign in the constituency as Zanu-PF youths were calling for his head.

    Hwende told SW Radio Africa that last week they had told the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the police about the violence and intimidation by Zanu-PF supporters, led by the candidate for the area Dexter Nduna.

    ‘We warned ZEC that Nduna’ supporters are compromising peace, security and harmonious co-existence of people in Chegutu,’ Hwende said.

    He however, vowed that members of the MDC family will no longer be intimidated by the former ruling party, saying gone were the days when Zanu-PF would instigate violence and intimidation during an election to scare away members of their party.

    Hwende stressed that they will no longer be intimidated saying after suffering 33 years under Zanu-PF they were prepared to endure another 6 days of harassment.

    ‘We have endured 33 years of dictatorship, endured 33 years of torture from Zanu-PF, so another 6 days will not kill us. We will be there on July 31st because people are determined to vote Robert Mugabe out of power.

    ‘Zanu-PF must not underestimate the resilience of our people and surely they must not underestimate the determination of our people to end this dictatorship,’ said Hwende.

    He regretted that anarchy is knocking on the door of many constituencies around the country.

    Former police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka, the Zanu-PF candidate for Buhera West, on Wednesday threatened to shoot an MDC-T polling agent for allegedly pulling down his posters.

    Shame Masosa told us that he was walking to a party meeting when Mandipaka stopped his car near Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s homestead and threatened him with death.

    ‘He alleged that I was pulling down his posters and demanded to know why I was wearing a party t-shirt. I thought I was going to die but thank god he just got back to his car and drove off,’ Masosa said.

    Mandipaka, who is using police resources including vehicles for his campaign, is locking horns in the constituency with Jaison Mateweu, the former organizing secretary of the MDC-T UK.

    In Zvimba West reports say that the Zanu-PF candidate Ziyambe Ziyambe is moving around the constituency decampaigning the MDC-T candidate Paradzai Munangatire, by claiming that he had resigned from contesting the seat.

    Munangatire blasted Ziyambe for spreading falsehoods, saying it is an indication that the Zanu-PF man knows he’s going to lose the poll.

    ‘If he’s certain of victory, he should be articulating his polices and not lying to the people that I’m no longer contesting him. It’s a shameful lie and he will be punished for that by the electorate,’ Munangatire said.

    There is also growing evidence that Zanu-PF is using coercion to get people to attend Mugabe’s rallies. In Masvingo people were also forced to attend his rally at Mucheke stadium.

    Since Monday meetings were held in all wards in the province, with just one message being circulated, that people must attend Mugabe’s rally without fail. There were warnings that those who not attending were MDC and would be dealt with after the elections.

    Teachers at some schools are being forced to put on Zanu-PF regalia when conducting their lessons. In other areas, war vets are threatening villagers that they will be monitored throughout the voting process to ensure that they do not vote for the MDC-T.

    SW Radio Africa is Zimbabwe's Independent Voice and broadcasts on Short Wave 4880 KHz in the 60m band.

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