“ Zanu (PF) youths came to my house on Tuesday morning while I and my wife were at work in town. They asked my maid to sign a brown exercise book which I learnt later that it was the sanctions removal petition. They also recorded my house number in the book. This is really worrying because I do not support Zanu (PF) and my family do not have anything to do with the so called sanctions, ” said Humphrey Siwela who stays in Magwegwe.
Another resident from Tshabalala high density suburb, Peace Moyo said a group of Zanu (PF) youths led by Charity Dlodlo, a well known activist in the area visited his house on Wednesday evening and asked him to append his signature on the petition.
“I was relaxing in the sitting room with my family when a group of Zanu (PF) youths knocked on the front door. One of the youth, Dlodlo called me outside and said I should sign the petition. When I refused to sign, she threatened me with unspecified action calling me a puppet of the British. After that they left and proceeded to the house next door to mine where they managed to intimidate the owner of the house and forced him to sign the petition and write his national identity number “said Moyo who works for a local non-governmental organization.
On Sunday church business was suspended at a Johanne Marange church in Pumula after the church’s leaders ordered all church members to sign the petition before preaching began. In rural areas Zanu (PF) has already enlisted the services of traditional leaders to force villagers to sign the petitions.Some villagers have alleged that some of the traditional leaders are threatening to deny them food aid if they did not append their signatures to the sanctions petition.
Speaking during a Zanu (PF) provincial conference at Davies Hall in Bulawayo on Monday, a senior Zanu (PF) politburo member, Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said the party is aiming at having seven million signatures on the anti-sanctions removal petitions countrywide.