Zanu PF Youth Militia Forces Villagers To Join Party
It has since emerged that the party’s provincial leadership ordered the youth militia to force villagers to buy the party cards this week, 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.
Some of the villagers said the youths were even demanding chikens and goats for those who fail to raise money for the party membership cards.
The Zanu PF fund-raising campaign is being masterminded by village heads and chiefs who are also said to be forcing villagers to comply with the youths’s demands or risk losing food aid.
”They have been in our area for the past week and are forcing everyone homestead to buy a party card failure which that family will not receive food aid. To those who fail to pay the US$2 for the Zanu PF membership card the youths demand goats or chikens and this has caused a lot of anxiety because people are afraid that they might not get food aid, when it eventually comes,”said villager from Masarira village in Bikita who refused to be named.
Another villager, from Mashoko in Bikita, said the local chief Senator Mabika was actually accompanying some of the Zanu PF youths to the villages to make sure that everyone paid.
”Chief Mabika openly tells us that if we do not suppport Zanu PF we will not get food assistance and the only way to show that we support the party is by buying te membership cards so we end up buying because we cannot afford not to get food assistance from governmnet,” said another villager.
Zanu PF politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire denied that the party was forcing villagers to buy party cards saying the move was optional.
”If there are youths that are forcing villagers to buy our party ards then those youths are not Zanu PF we are not forcing anyone to buy our cards its just according to one’s choice,”said Mavhaire.
In Masvingo Zanu PF managed to sell only a paltry 130 party membership cards last year, an indication that most people no longer supported the former ruling party led by President Mugabe in power since 1980.