Rugeje, who is the Chief of Staff of the Zimbabwe national Army (ZNA), stands accused of employing a ‘mafia-style’ programme to force students to participate in the anti-sanctions programme that was launched by President Robert Mugabe.
Allegations against Rugeje are contained in a report released by the Community Tolerance for Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD), a local research institute advocating for the establishment of a Truth Telling Commission in Zimbabwe.
“The custodians of the violence culture have employed a mafia style demonstration in a bid to force even students who posses national identity cards to sign the petition.
“At Great Zimbabwe University brigadier Rugeje had a series of seminars with the students forcing them to sign the petition which is clear violation of the co curricular of the students,” reads in part the COTRAD report.
Maj-Gen Rugeje could not be reached for comment on allegations leveled against him.
Rugeje is one of the top army commanders who have been reportedly deployed countrywide to direct campaign for Zanu-PF.
The COTRAD report adds that Zanu (PF) youths were being coerced by senior army officers and party officials to threaten Masvingo villagers to participate in the anti-sanctions campaign.
“This is disturbing news youths are being manipulated to spread violence and threaten villagers on impending catastrophes if they shun and snub these processes.
“In Jerera four villagers namely Brighton Machivana (22), Titos Muhunde (26), David Madzimure (29) and Prosper Nyamudya were beaten and threatened with death penalty after refusing to sign the anti sanctions petition,” the COTRAD report added.
President Robert Mugabe who launched the anti-sanctions campaign in Harare recently has said over 2 million signatures are required from Zimbabweans to push for the lifting of the embargoes from the West and the European Union.
Mugabe has said the anti-sanctions campaign is a war against the West and the European Union.