Zanu PF terror hits by-election

HARARE - A panicking Zanu PF, fearing a repeat of its recent mauling in the Norton by-election, is going for broke in Chimanimani West, amid allegations that President Robert Mugabe’s warring ruling party has deployed the full mighty of its terror machinery there, ahead of tomorrow’s by-election in the constituency.

“The situation is not good here. (Joseph) Chinotimba, (Ignatius) Chombo and (Saviour) Kasukuwere were at Nyanyadzi yesterday (Wednesday) promising to beat people if Zanu PF loses the elections.

“We are living in great fear and hope that the by-election will end with no fatalities as Zanu PF is leaving no stone unturned in its desperate quest to ensure that it wins this seat at all costs,” independent candidate in the poll, Edmore Mtetwa, told the Daily News yesterday.

“They are using village heads to intimidate people and we are also worried about the issue of the voters’ roll. We requested for the voters’ roll and were told this would be ready by November 21. But up to now we have not got it,” the distressed Mtetwa added.

In addition to Mtetwa and Zanu PF’s Nokuthula Matsikenyere, the National Constitutional Assembly’s (NCA’s) Pesanai Musakaruka and Peter Gudyanga of the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) will also be bidding to win the by-election of relatively unknown candidates.

Just like in the run-up to the Norton by-election which was won hands down by independent candidate and former Zanu PF provincial chairperson for Mashonaland West, Temba Mliswa, the ruling party has deployed its bigwigs in the area, including Kasukuwere and Chombo, to drum up support for Matsikenyere.

The seat fell vacant following the expulsion from the warring ruling party of former minister Munacho Mutezo, who was accused of being a close follower of Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) interim leader former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Contacted by the Daily News yesterday, Chombo rubbished as “complete lies” the allegations that Zanu PF was terrorising people in Chimanimani West.

“I am actually coming from there and police are maintaining order. Those are lies. I never saw any opposition party supporters there. People in the area love our party. If you are to go to that area you will witness how peaceful Zimbabwe is.

“The morale among people is high and they are looking forward to a good and peaceful election. Whoever is telling you those allegations is lying,” he said emphatically.

However, civil society organisations raised serious concerns earlier this week about incidents of intimidation and the partisan distribution of food in the constituency ahead of the by-election.

“It is alleged that Zanu PF, through village heads, has been intimidating villagers by making announcements to the effect that Zanu PF supporters are the only ones who should vote at the by-election.

“Uniformed forces like members of the Zimbabwean National Army and the Zimbabwe Republic Police have also been spotted driving around Chimanimani West.

“Over the last two weeks, the sudden increase in the presence of the army and police in the constituency is intimidating and curtailing the activities of contesting candidates as their meetings are disrupted,” the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), said.

Political analysts told the Daily News that a lot was at stake in the Chimanimani West by-election because Kasukuwere, who is the Zanu PF national political commissar, and Chombo, its secretary for administration, were keen to avoid a repeat of what had happened in Norton.

The two have been under serious fire in the warring ruling party after Zanu PF’s candidate was defeated heavily by Mliswa, despite similar claims of violence and intimidation in Norton.

“Given the harsh economic conditions prevailing in the country, Zanu PF may feel, as it has done in the past, that the only way to secure an electoral victory is through the use of force and violence.

“The urge to increase violence and strike terror in the hearts of voters is further heightened by Zanu PF’s recent loss in the Norton by-election.

Unfortunately, there has never been any accountability over electoral violence, and so Zanu PF and its allies continue to act with impunity in terrorising villagers,” human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga said.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, which is boycotting participating in by-elections until its demands for much-needed electoral reforms have been heeded, said Zanu PF was “not capable of winning a free and fair election”.

“In their heart of hearts, all die-hard Zanu PF politicians and activists know that they are a political party in terminal decline and also that they are completely and absolutely incapable of winning a free and fair election.

“This is the main reason why the Zanu PF terror machinery has been let loose in Chimanimani West constituency. After their crushing and humiliating defeat in the Norton by-election recently, Zanu PF is now going for broke.

“They aren’t taking any prisoners. They will do anything and everything possible to retain the Chimanimani West seat. This is, in fact, a trial-run of the 2018 elections,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

“The Zanu PF regime is in serious panic mode. They are sensing a humiliating defeat in 2018 and as such, they have upped the ante in as far as their terror and rigging machinery is concerned.

“Zanu PF last won a free and fair election in 1995 and ever since, they have been rigging themselves back into power,” he added.

In the October 22 Norton by-election, Zanu PF was given a royal hiding by Mliswa despite brutalising and bribing voters with residential stands, as well as printing and distributing fake MDC flyers to confuse people.

Mliswa blew out of the water Zanu PF’s little-known Ronald Chindedza to win the Norton constituency, which fell vacant earlier this year following the expulsion of former war veterans’ leader and Cabinet minister Christopher Mutsvangwa from the ruling party.

He polled 8 927 votes to Chindedza’s 6 192, to deliver a hammer blow to Zanu PF which was bidding to avoid defeat in Mugabe’s own backyard, as well as preventing disgruntled war veterans who campaigned for Mliswa from gaining a measure of revenge on the nonagenarian and his former liberation movement, following their recent hounding out of the party.

Comments (22)

Chombo, you think people are to blind to see and too daft to know your terror campaign plans.You were expecting to see opposition supporters when you know fully well that they don't have the freedom to parade themselves around lest they become targets of the military and police that you have deployed there?Get it into your thick head that peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice.Any sane person will obviously vote for for any other candidate who is not zanu pf and thats the reason you have unleashed your dogs of war to terrorise and intimidate people.White hair usually comes with wisdom but its a shame that for you it comes with barbarism and thieving.You days are numbered.

Janana wa Bikaz - 25 November 2016

If we have to shed blood to have an election we would rather not have it. Zanupf is wasting people's time, resources and energy calling for elections they want to win with blood and deaths.

therambo - 25 November 2016

Even in speechifying facts on the ground Ignatius Chombo is corruption riddled.

Mukanya - 25 November 2016

You would need to be a moron, a murderer, a thief, a fraudster, and ex-convict or their relative to even listen to anyone from the devil's party speak. They don't only have blood on their hands, no. Its in their eyes, their heads, their heart, their mansions, their cars, even the air they expel out as they breathe - the devil's rejects. Vampires - Lycans and Vulcans combined.

Sharia - 25 November 2016

The best solution in such a scenario is for voters to stay home and be alife rather being killed by ZANU PF. But until when will ZANU PF understand people no longer want them to rule them.

Mtotoziko - 25 November 2016

So you are choosing to give ZANU PF victory. A reward for skullduggery and terror tactics. No. As long as the terror campaigns ZANU pf will not let up. One day we will have men and women who despite the beatings, the burning of houses, the kidnappings etc then and only then will we be free. Freedom is coming one day!

Viva Unidade - 25 November 2016

I meant to say as long as the terror campaigns give ZANU pf victory, they will not let up. Who needs to change a winning formula. But a day is coming when terror will not pay.

Viva Unidade - 25 November 2016

Chombo do what you do best steal and corruption You are failing to pay back that business man his due monies Wakuti sike sike nemaelections You know if zanu does not win you behind will be in Chikurubi Enjoy these last few days because your days are numbered The food aid you are dangling to these poor souls was donated by the west Just go and enjoy youe mansion coz that will be the headquarter of the winning opposition party

gonyeti 2 - 26 November 2016

The only way to shame satan is not to give in to his demands just ignore these fppls never vote for zanu bcoz for 36 years they have destroyed our country and they do not deserve your vote .In the polling booth you will be alone never vote wrongly make sure you never your X PUT on the ruins . Voting for zanu is voting for nonsense and if you dislike nonsense never vote zanu pasi ne zanu yemadi sinyongoro

Diibulaanyika - 26 November 2016

ZIM PEOPLE ARE WEAK STAND UP TO MUGABE, MAJURU AND MORGAN ARE USELESS THEY ARE NOT PREPARED TO PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE

ALEXIO - 26 November 2016

Vote anyone but Zanu pf humiliate them

Young Zimbo - 26 November 2016

Kana zvikanzi "Gudo" apo Zanu PF apo ini ndino votera zvangu Gudo

Maphate - 26 November 2016

And this is precisely why everyone must now demand UN intervention. How many more election processes to we have to witness to realize that this ZANU PF led government is incapable of allowing free and fair elections? The one and only way we will be able to express ourselves and obtain proper results is with UN intervention - without it forget it. Morgan's failure to call for UN intervention just typifies how useless a leader he is and it is a clear signal to me that he is prepared to watch another election be stolen with minimal protest. This country is lacking in any proper opposition....how can we go on like this?

Mbewa - 27 November 2016

Problem with some fools is they think Morgan is there to solve every thing for them while they sit having mosombodiya .That is dangerous thinking .

Chimedza matombo - 27 November 2016

Yu talk and think like this becoz yu live in towns or diaspora.The rurals have their thinking ,different from yours.Whether its their own choice or not come election they put it on Zanu .Yu may not like this idea bt thats the game on the ground.And rurals constitute 80 p.c on the voters roll.So even if yu all vote against, the statistics are this simple,get all rurals to vote and work on the twns earnestly for show.Town votes are a bonus.What is required is to postpone this election ,bring up the economy so we can eradicate hunger and desperation of voters.This can only be done by uniting both parties for GNU.That way both parties can work for 2023.A free economy,acceptable voters roll and a strong economy.But as it is ,2018, is disaster.Yo mdc will loose again .They will call for stiffer sanctions ,economy will go down again.Hunger .Politicians love elections bcoz its payday time,not for the country bt their families

viola gwena - 27 November 2016

If Tsvangi wants to be honest n realistic ,the last election he does not know what hit him.To this day he has not given a detailed report on how he lost twn votes .He lost in mbare.He must be cleverer now and join government again and work from inside ,to change the election system.He can only do this thru GNU.Its not Mugabe anymore ,who he will work wth.Sekuru is tired .Even himself Tsvangi is tired .So this will be for country.If he is not chicken ,he will go for this.Not chickening out thru loosing elections.

viola gwena - 27 November 2016

You can't work with Zanu pf. They terrorise people.Murder torture and steal from its own people.Something has to give. We need change.

Young Zimbo - 27 November 2016

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TAKAWIRA - 28 November 2016

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yencontis - 28 November 2016

The vast majority of rural folk voted for ZANU PF simply because of a combination of intimidation & bribery. You know it, we all know it....it is just the outside world who doesn't know it. The innocent rural people were told that their individual votes could and would be monitored by hidden cameras and that anyone daring to vote for the opposition would be dealt with ruthlessly. So to try and now claim that the last elections were free and fair and a true expression of the wishes of the people is a huge lie. And Morgan's failure to raise hell about it and expose these goings on to the rest of the world is yet another clear indication that he is useless and definitely not the right man for the job. Nothing short of immediate UN intervention with international and independent monitors and supervisors deployed everywhere throughout the country can ensure a proper, free and fair election process.

Mbewa - 28 November 2016

Mbewa I see yu are quite emotional on this.Emotions will never bring good ideas.There is killings in Seria ,do yu see UN coming in?Did yu see UN in Egytpian uprisings.Nope.UN will only come when invited by the sitting authority in a country.In our case in 1980 Britain invited UN.We have SADC ,AU on the continent.They dont want UN on the continent.They want to solve all issues wthout foreign involvement.Tsvangirai is not stupid ,he knows its a waste of tyme to call for UN wthout the blessings of AU and SADC.Thats why Mbewa.Its a noble call but a far fetched one.Only if there is seriouse war here enuf to kill half the population,can un intervene.

viola gwena - 28 November 2016

These elections are monitored by AU and SADC ,Un is not invited.Moreso when yu see what they did in Ivory Coast.Bgabgo will testify to this.That is why Zim makes sure good relations are maintained wth these 2 bordies ,AU ,SADC.So whats the point of having these election 2018 which we all know Mdc will loose n cry foul play.Then sanctions,.Useless.Have a GNU, and start working from inside state.Correct all wrongs from inside.Johnathan Moyo only became effective from inside ,not outside.

viola gwena - 28 November 2016

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