A BROKE Zanu PF has extended a begging bowel to white commercial farmers in Manicaland, who survived the chaotic land reform, ahead of watershed elections expected this year.
Blessed Mhlanga / Obey Manayiti
Governor Christopher Mushohwe is reported to have held a meeting with the white commercial farmers at the Golden Peacock Hotel last Thursday on behalf of Zanu PF where he reportedly asked them to help fund the party’s election campaign, failure of which they would lose their land.
A source who attended the meeting said Mushohwe told the farmers that they still held their land courtesy of his party and could risk losing their farms if they did not fund the Zanu PF election campaign.
“He told us that we needed the support of Zanu PF to keep our land and if we fail to co-operate with funding the election campaign, we could be considered enemies to the party and could lose the farms we were allowed to keep when other farmers were hounded out,” said the source, who declined to be named.
Attempts to get a comment from Mushohwe were fruitless with his mobile number going unanswered since Tuesday.
Bishop Trevor Manhanga, who according to the source was one of the farmers who attended the meeting to give prayers, confirmed Mushohwe met the farmers from Chipinge and Nyanga.
Manhanga, viewed by many as a Zanu PF sympathiser, downplayed the purpose of the meeting, saying it was meant to raise funds for the reburial of fallen heroes who died during the liberation war and are buried in mass graves in Rusape.
“Yes, I was at the meeting, but it had nothing to do with raising funds for the elections, but to raise funds for the reburial exercise of people who were buried in a mass grave in Rusape, this is my understanding of the meeting,” he said.
Manhanga said apart from the farmers, other top business persons from Mutare also attended the meeting.
“Besides the commercial farmers, there were representatives from different hotels, those from different funeral parlours, from Museums and the Home Affairs department,” he said.
In the 2002 presidential elections, Zanu PF roasted MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai when he appeared on a video receiving cash donations from white commercial farmers.
Contacted for comment, Zanu PF secretary for administration and acting secretary for finance Didymus Mutasa dismissed the move by Mushohwe saying: “He did that on his own. I am the treasurer and at national level we never agreed to do that. Maybe he is doing it for Manicaland province, but I am not aware of that.”