Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) youth leader from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai faction in Gutu east, Tapera Gumindoga, told Radio VOP:
“Villagers here are living in fear after all of a sudden soldiers appeared in our villages accompanied by Zanu (PF) youths who are moving door to door threatening villagers to attend the heroes gala at Mpandawana. This is disturbing because we expect that people should go there out of their will instead of being forced.”
“We were threatened by Zanu (PF) youths who came to our homestead and told us to attend the gala without fail or we will be punished severely. They said we should come clad in their party regalia to show our support of the party,” said Tsitsi Nhamwi from Nerupiri.
Gumindoga lambasted Zanu (PF) for abusing the security sector.
“The real problems are with Zanu (PF). They continue to abuse the security forces for their selfish political gains. The army should not be used to intimidate and harass innocent and defenceless civilians. The other worrying issue is that this is a national event not a party event and people should chose for themselves to participate on such gatherings not use the military muscle to force march them,” he said.
He added that his party’s youth assembly would take the matter up with its leadership.
Efforts to get a comment from ZNA provincial spokesperson Warrant officer Kingston Chivave were fruitless while Zanu PF youth chairman Talent Majoni declined to comment.