SW Radio Africa (London)

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF to Face Backlash in Mash Central Province

ZANU PF is headed for a shock defeat in next year's elections in Mashonaland Central, for neglecting and lying to the electorate in the past 32 years, a senior MDC-T official said.

Godfrey Chimombe, the MDC-T provincial chairman, told SW Radio Africa's Election Watch program on Friday that despite proclamations that the province is a ZANU PF stronghold, the electorate has suffered political neglect since independence in 1980.

'ZANU PF has failed to connect with the electorate, and has been insensitive to people's problems and needs,' noted Chimombe.

Chimombe also attributed the poverty and underdevelopment of the province's districts to this political neglect.

The province has some of the most fertile land but government's policies towards agriculture had stifled the growth and development of the agricultural sector.

'The districts in the province tell a story of neglect. For three decades, the political leadership of ZANU PF has lacked the imagination and creativity to arrest the decay in these communities,' Chimombe explained.

Turning to political violence, Chimombe said ZANU PF was using criminality and violence tactics in order to rig next year's elections.

'This criminal act of kitting thugs in military uniforms by ZANU PF in the volatile province is reprehensible and should be condemned by all well meaning Zimbabweans.

'The army, police and CIO should not have any role to play in election duties, which is purely a civilian affair. People should not be intimidated and there must not be use of force by any means during the conduct of elections,' said Chimombe.

He said ZANU PF is determined to rig the election, by hook or by crook.

'This is why we are living in fear in the province because of the use of the militia and army to intimidate voters and MDC-T supporters. The use of force by the junta to get people to vote ZANU PF is a major threat to our democracy and so the nation must rise against such practice so people can freely choose those they want to entrust with authority to govern.

The provincial chair said Zimbabweans are peace loving people and would not want gun toting security personnel patrolling their villages and towns at election times.

'The same cannot be said of the security forces to safeguard peoples' lives and properties in normal times. Zimbabweans are now more informed and Mugabe should not take people for granted having done nothing for them for 32 years,' he said.

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