Villagers Forced to Fund Zanu PF Conference
GUTU – Some villagers in Gutu district have castigated president Robert Mugabe’sruling Zanu Pf party for allegedly forcing them to contribute either cash or in kind towards the hosting of the party’s national conference to be held on December 13 this year.
The conference will be held in Masvingo at the Masvingo Showgrounds.
According to the villagers war veterans and party youths are raiding villages daily demanding cash or even livestock from the hunger striken villagers towards the hosting of the conference.
The former freedom fighters and party youths are allegedly threatening villagers with either death or eviction if they fail to contribute anything towards the hosting of the conference
In addition party activists are allegedly telling villagers that all families that do not contribute something will not benefit from ZANU PF and government sponsored programmes like the presidential free farming inputs scheme as well as relief food aid.
Thompson Chouriri a villager from ward 27 in Gutu told the Zimbabwenewsday that the situations is unbearable.
“We are being forced to donate something even if we do not support Zanu PF “, said Chouriri
“Those who resist are threatened with death and are labelled MDC-T supporters who should not be benefit from any government sponsored programme including relief food aid”, he added.
“Some have already been threatened with eviction”, added Chouriri
According to the villagers Zanu Pf activists are moving around the villages jotting down names of those who are resisting the fund raising exercise and telling them that they will not be given relief aid food and farming inputs.
“Some of us have contribute either cash or goats in order to protect ourselves from being harassed,”said Marian Choko of Basera village in Gutu.
The villagers said even some Zanu Pf supporters in the area were not happy with the fund raising exercise.
A zanu Pf supporter who chose to remain anonymous for fear of victimization said it was bad to force people to contribute something at a time when hunger and starvation have tightened their grip in the area.
“We voted for president Mugabe in 2013 and for him to continue asking money
from us is very unfair”, said a Zanu Pf supporter.
“In fact this should be pay back time for him to thank us for voting for him ” he added.
“We are currently hungry and we need food from the government and the president should know this”, he said
“It is bad to force anyone to donate something and we are saying no to
such day light robbery”, he added.
Another villager Tinos Mhare said he was nearly assaulted after telling party activists with a begging bowl that he does not support Zanu PF.
“I told them that I could not contribute even a single cent because I do not support president Mugabe and his party”, said Mhare.
“This did not go down well with the war veterans who nearly assaulted
me”, he said.
A traditional chief in Gutu who refused to be named for fear of victimization said he had heard many people complaining about the fund raising exercise and urged those responsible to stop harassing innocent villagers.
However a senior Zanu PF official has denied that villagers were being forced to fork out something for the conference
”We have asked our party structures to fund raise but obviously not to force people “,said party provincial chairman Amasa Nhenjana
“We are urging those who are being forced to donate to report to the police because this is illegal”, added Nhenjana.
According to media reports Zanu PF needs a staggering USD 4 million to successfully host the conference.
The money would be used for the upkeep of over 5000 delegates expected
to grace the occasion.