“We were surprised to see youths who used to campaign for Huruva (Zanu PF MP for Chivi North) coming to our houses on Friday night telling us that Tsvangirai is already campaigning. They said anyone who attends the rally will risk to be severely punished because Chivi is not for MDC (Movement for Democratic Change).
“They said that some Zanu PF youths are going to be planted at the rally from each ward so that they jot down all names of individuals from each ward who attends the rally. Though there is no specific action to be taken against those who will attend, we are now afraid to go there,” said an MDC supporter in ward three of Chivi.
RadioVOP was informed that soldiers clad in army regalia who were at Mhandahwe shopping center on Friday openly declared that villagers who go to Tsvangirai’s rally will face a severe ‘disciplinary action’.
“Soldiers were also threatening people on Friday night, we are not sure of what to do. We were very eager to meet Prime Minister but because of these threats, we are likely to remain at home. We are afraid the punishment may come in the form of being denied food aid,” said a Mr Munodawafa.
Masvingo West legislator Tichaona Mharadze said villagers in his constituency were threatened and informed not to attend the rally.
“That’s what Zanu PF does when it senses danger. My supporters …were told not to attend the rally at Mashava but I know they will come in their numbers. … we are however afraid because they might be beaten for attending the rally later,” said Mharadze.
MDC-T provincial chairman Wilstaff Sitemere complained saying Zanu PF has gone too far to block freedom of assembly and association.
“Zanu PF has gone too far in blocking democracy. They are now threatening our supporters but the Prime Minister wishes to get the
clear picture of what is happening in the rural areas. He is hear to assess drought but everything has been politicised ,” said Sitimere.
In Masvingo Zanu PF youth militia was reportedly forcing villagers to buy the party cards after being chided by the national Zanu PF leadership for failing to raise funds for the broke party.
The militias have since been causing terror, in hunger-stricken districts of Zaka, Bikita and Gutu where they are forcing villagers to buy the party cards for US$2 each or risk not being registered to recieve food assistance from government.
In Bindura a magistrate has gone in hiding after receiving death threats from youth militia who accused him of selling out the party by jailing five Zanu PF youths who were convicted of participating in violence in 2008.