SW Radio Africa (London)

3 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Sibanda Calls for MDC-T Supporters to Be Denied Farming Inputs

War vets leader Jabulani Sibanda last week ordered that all known MDC-T supporters in Makoni district of Manicaland province be denied farming inputs from government, as punishment for ditching ZANU PF.

At a meeting at Makoni country club in Rusape, Sibanda emphasized to traditional chiefs and headmen that no MDC-T meetings should be sanctioned in the district. The meeting was attended by ZANU PF stalwart Didymus Mutasa as well as several high ranking police and CIO officers.

Over 400 traditional leaders, drawn from the five constituencies in Makoni, were also in attendance. MDC-T spokesman for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya, confirmed the development and added that Sibanda told the chiefs and headmen to keep a record of their subjects and ensure that all of them vote ZANU PF in this year's elections.

Sibanda promised that those who don't would be dealt with thoroughly. He also took a swipe at some of the so-called neutral traditional leaders, saying there is nothing of that sort, as all chiefs were ZANU PF.

Muchauraya said: 'They were given notebooks and pens to go and draw up a list of MDC-T supporters or anyone who does not support ZANU PF. This week we got confirmation that some of these traditional leaders are already implementing what Sibanda instructed them to do.

'We have 10 people who have fled from Nyamukamai in the Headlands who have been receiving threats from these chiefs. At Gandanzara a family of five fled their home this week after a headman David Zumbanu issued threats against them.'

The Makoni South MP said the most worrying thing is that when Sibanda discussed these issues in detail, senior police officers were there and listening, and took no action.

'We don't have any law that denies people food aid or farming inputs. MDC-T supporters were openly threatened in the presence of police officers but they decided to turn a blind eye,' he said.

Muchauraya promised that they will be lodging a complaint with JOMIC as well as writing a protest letter to the officer commanding police in the province, raising the issue of partisanship by the police towards ZANU PF.

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