Matabeleland had the lowest with only 13 ‘per cent’ signatures. As of April 30, 2011, 82 240 signatures had been collected in Bulawayo, 94 724 in Matabeleland South and 89 739 in Matabeleland North, making a combined total of 266 703 out of the
total 2 022 852 signatures collected from the country’s 10 provinces.
The combined total of the three provinces in Matebeleland is lower than Harare alone which garnered 340 000 signatures.
The full list of statistics released by Director of Urban Communication Services in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity, Retired Major Anywhere Mutambudzi indicated that 340 000 people put their signatures on the anti-sanctions forms in Harare, Bulawayo (82 240), Matabeleland South (94 724), Matabeleland North (89 739), Masvingo (216 000), Mashonaland West (231 919), Manicaland (182 950) Mashonaland East (307 651), Mashonaland Central (246 729) and Midlands (230 900).
The anti-sanctions campaign was launched about two months ago by Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) which enjoys very little support in Matebeleland region.
The West in 2002 imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on Mugabe and his cronies for alleged rights violations and stifling of democracy. The anti-sanctions campaign is intended to demand the lifting of the targeted sanctions although the West has indicated that nothing will change unless there is full implementation of Zimbabwe’s unity deal.
Meanwhile in Mberengwa Zanu (PF) bigwig and Defence Minister, Emerson Mnangagwa has warned villagers against voting for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the next elections saying the constituency is a Zanu (PF) property and they will be chaos if his party loses.
Mnangagwa was speaking at a rally at Mbirashava primary school at the weekend in Mberengwa where he had been flown by a helicopter from Harare accompanied by the local legislator Makhosini Hlongwane.
“Mnangagwa came in a helicopter together with local MP Hlongwane who had invited him. He told villagers not to vote for MDC in next elections warning that if Zanu (PF) loses Mberengwa there will be chaos ,adding that the district has been a Zanu (PF) property since independence,”Kereni Mubaiwa the new mainstream MDC chairman for Mberengwa told Radio VOP on Tuesday.
Mubaiwa said most villagers where forced by Zanu (PF) youths led by Bellame Zijena to attend the Mnangagwa rally.
Mberengwa has been a Zanu (PF) stronghold since independence, the party’s militias and war veterans have been mostly terrorising opposition supporters in the past recent years.
Last month war veterans and Zanu (PF) youths led by Sayinai Madhaka declared war against MDC supporters in Mberengwa district, saying their party should start setting up a refugee camp as they will be all forced to flee. Several MDC supporters also fled their homes in Murongwe area in the same district after another team of war veterans led by one Retired Major Shava raided their homes for boycotting a Zanu (PF) rally.
Early this year a group of war veterans were arrested after disrupting a constitutional parliamentary committee consultative meeting on the new constitution held at Vutsanana Secondary School in the same district.