By Itai Muzondo
Masvingo,September 24, 2015 – The newly adopted electronic cards for the ruling Zanu(PF) party have reportedly come accompanied with political threats, as party stewards advocating for people to receive the electronic cards have been allegedly threatening that anyone who would not possess the card by election time would be in trouble, Radio VOP can reveal.
Sources also revealed that the move is being seen as a way of raising funds to hold the party’s December congress, as the ruling party’s coffers are reportedly dry.
“We thought political threats are a game of the past but with what we are going through here it is still very prevalent. This comes from the fact that Zanu(PF) coordinator for Bikita, Isaac Mashanda has continued threatening us that anyone who would not be with the electronic card by 2018 will suffer the ‘consequences’. To me this definitely means political violence will be prevalent again,” said Struggle Nyahunda from Bikita.
“Previously when we approached election time, anyone who did not have a Zanu(PF) card was beaten up. Now that the party has introduced new cards, we are buying them in fear of the unknown as those advertising and encouraging people to buy the new cards are the same people who got us into trouble for failure to produce party cards.
“This however threatens our stomachs which are already under fire from the striking hunger as we are looking into sparing an extra three United States dollars from money we would use to acquire more food. It might sound as a very little thing but here in the rural areas it a lot considering the fact that a family can survive on a three dollars for a week,” said Chiedza Muchandigona of Gutu.
An insider who denied to be named said such processes are dangerous for the party since it gives them pseudo numbers of party supporters.
“People subscribe to these systems involuntarily. They are scared of being found without a party card as it would portray that you belong to the opposition and would usually result in trouble especially in the rural areas.
“As a result, the party gets pseudo numbers of party supporters since they usually use the numbers of card holders in coming up with the total number of party followers ahead of major events.
“What villagers have also failed to realise is that the party is fundraising for the forthcoming congress through this process, so they would definitely do anything within their capacity to raise money for this upcoming controversial event, “said a member
Zanu (PF) Provincial Chairperson Paradzai Chakona acknowledged that the distribution of the new cards has already started though he said those who say the party is instilling fear to the general populace are lying and after tarnishing the party image.
“Yes, the process is already in progress. New electronic cards are being issued. It is not however not a Zanu(PF) culture that we threaten people to join or subscribe to our party but those who want to tarnish the party image are the ones parroting rumours that we are threatening villagers that if they do not acquire the cards in question, they will be in for it come election time,” said Chakona.
Meanwhile, Zanu (PF) had of late put a halt to the issuing of party membership cards in a bid to allow for auditing over allegations of gross abuse of the revolutionary party’s funds.