Villagers of Charama, 100 kilometres south of Gokwe town said they were being harassed with the youth who were going around asking what should be done to a cock if it gets old.
The villagers said they were expected to respond by saying an old cock should be respected and kept safe in the home.
Zanu (PF) uses a cock as its symbol and Mugabe, 87 next February, is often referred to as the cock (jongwe) by his supporters.
“We are being harassed here.Vari kuti kana Jongwe rachembera rino itwa sei? (They are saying what happens to a cock when it’s old?) Ukangoti rinobikwa chete sandi kurohwa ikoko.(If you say it must be cooked they (Zanu (PF) youth) will beat you up). Zvanzi jongwe kana rachembera rino fanirwa kuchengetwa mumusha roremekedzwa.” (They say if a cock gets old it must be looked after in the home.”
Movement for Democratic Challenge (MDC) provincial chair Cephas Zimuti confirmed that
intimidation was the order of the day in Gokwe rural areas.
“We have received some of such complaints not in Charama only but also in Manoti where there is an army base. However this is not going to affect us because our people know that intimidation is some political parties’ style of campaigning. We are telling our supporters to follow what they are being forced to do so as to save their lives,” he said.
Mugabe and MDC leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have called for fresh elections next year although there are fears from civic society that the political atmosphere may not be conducive for a free and fair election.