By Edgar Gweshe
Mutare, September 26, 2016 – CALLS for President Robert Mugabe to step down continue to grow with social movements intensifying efforts to reach out to rural citizens.
The Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe campaign was launched in Mutare, Manicaland province on Saturday, September 24, 2016.
In an interview with RadioVOP on the sidelines of the Manicaland launch, National Coordinator, Itai Machakaire said the rural populace was critical in the fight to dislodge Zanu (PF) from power.
“So far, we have lunched the campaign in Macheke, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Uzumba. From Manicaland province, we will be launching the campaign in other provinces as well. Our objective is to reach out to the rural populace especially areas that have often been described as Zanu PF strongholds,” said Machakaire.
He said the move to venture into rural areas was motivated by that Zanu PF often relies on manipulating rural voters hence the need for a campaign to educate and mobilise villagers around the country.
“We would like to make sure that we fight this system of manipulation of rural citizens and we will be intensifying our campaigns especially as we go towards the 2018 elections. Our message is clear that its high time Mugabe steps down.
“There is so much underdevelopment in rural areas because the ruling party has failed to deliver and we find it unacceptable that they would want to continue manipulating rural voters,” said Machakaire.
Some bemoaned that Zanu PF politicians were busy looting resources for personal gain.
“It’s shocking that a Head of State would disclose that they cannot account for $15 billion yet they claim to be a party of the people.
“It is only the political heavyweights that benefitted from the discovery of diamonds here in Manicaland and what is more painful is the fact that we the ordinary people were relegated into abject poverty as a result of the discovery of diamonds here,” said an interviewee who identified himself as Jane Munesu.
Mariot Muringisi said, “Zanu PF has proved its hypocrisy and as rural voters, we need to join forces with progressive forces so that this regime is stopped from abusing ordinary Zimbabweans.”
Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe campaign leader, Victor Chimhutu reiterated the need to focus on mobilising rural voters ahead of the 2018 elections.
“2018 is a critical year and we need to make sure that Zanu (PF) is removed from power and that is why we are saying we want to focus on rural voters because they are a critical constituency. We need to reclaim our country from this rogue regime and this is the time that we should start mobilizing towards that,” said Chimhutu.