Some party youths at the Siyaso market stalls in Mbare on Tuesday confirmed that Zanu (PF) is promising to dish out thousands of dollars to Zanu PF youths and ordinary people in return to have the sanctions petition signed and to rally their support for the party.
“People are being promised loans for projects. Some people, we heard got their loans approved. It depends on what you want to do, you need to write a business project proposal and we hear some people already got their loans,” one Mbare youth told Radio VOP on condition of anonymity.
“Some people want to have stands or a market stall stand at Mupedzanhamo and we are being promised that we will have such things.”
Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo denied the reports that people are being forced to attend the anti-sanctions campaign and being paid to sign on the petition describing the reports as ‘nonsense’. He said preparations for the anti-sanctions campaign were on course.
“That is nonsense. It is the usual propaganda that media and people say. This is a voluntary programme and no-one is being forced to attend. I hope when you cover the event tomorrow as media you will not say we forced you to attend (referring to this correspondent),” Gumbo said.
Mugabe and his Zanu PF party will on Wednesday launch the ‘anti-sanctions’ campaign in the capital Harare amid fears that people will be forced to attend the meeting while business fears their shops will closed.
The European Union (EU) and its Western allies imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his close associates for trampling on human rights of Zimbabweans and electoral fraud among other reasons in 2002 after the presidential polls which were condemned worldwide.
In 2008 Zanu PF supporters embarked on a ‘million man’ march in the capital, forced businesses to close while people were forced to attend Mugabe’s key address. Trucks and lorries were hijacked to ferry people to Highfield after Zanu PF supporters blocked cars and forced drivers to ferry people to Highfield where Mugabe addressed the marchers.
The party which has been ruling the country since independence in 1980 is already in an election campaign mood after declaring that elections must be held this year.