Village Heads Coerce Residents To Attend Zanu PF Meetings

By James Marufu

Zaka, July 19, 2013 – An aspiring Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) parliamentary candidate for Zaka Central constituency has accused  village heads in his area of coercing their subjects to attend Zanu PF meetings failure of which they will face unspecified actions after the forthcoming harmonised elections slated for July 31.

Jameson Mushonga, the MDC-T aspiring candidate told Radio VOP that village heads in ward 15, Panganai, Musarava and Chivamba held meetings with villagers on Thursday and threatened them with unspecified action if they do not vote for President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

“Our supporters are being intimidated and are being instructed to vote for Zanu PF. Village heads are threatening and intimidating villagers that they will face severe punishment if they do not vote for Zanu PF.

“All the political parties were campaigning in peace here until yesterday when these unscrupulous village heads started to summon villagers instructing them to vote for Zanu PF,” said Mushonga.

Zanu PF Masvingo provincial chairman Lovemore Matuke distanced his party from the village heads’ actions and warned them to stop using the party’s name to push their personal agendas.

Matuke said the paramount chief of that area should intervene to stop the intimidation before the elections.

“I don’t think those village heads belong to Zanu PF, I don’t have the capacity to comment about their behavior but we want peace and no violence as Zanu PF,” said Matuke.

Zaka paramount chief Rangarirai Bwawanda Nhema condemned the alleged behavior by his village heads and warned them to desist from intimidating villagers.

 

“What they are doing is totally unacceptable. The Traditional Act says we should be apolitical and village heads should not be seen campaigning for one political party. I want to warn those village heads who want to dabble in politics to stop that behavior forthwith. President Robert Mugabe is preaching peace and as traditional leaders we should promote peace and harmony in our respective areas,” said Chief Nhema.