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‘2008 poll nightmare still haunts rural areas’

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MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday paid tribute to his party supporters in Mashonaland Central — a Zanu PF stronghold — for remaining resilient in the midst of adversity and admitted that an aura of fear still pervaded the province, five years after the bloody 2008 presidential run-off election.

Wonai Masvingise

Addressing a campaign rally in Rushinga, Tsvangirai said: “There is a strong element of fear among the people. My message is that fear has to be translated into hope of a new government and a new era. If you need hope, vote MDC so that we won’t go back to the 2008 scenario,” Tsvangirai said.

The MDC-T leader later toured Rushinga business centre where people raised various complaints, among them late payment for maize deliveries, low producer prices for cotton and bottlenecks in the voter registration exercise.

On voter registration, Tsvangirai accused his rivals Zanu PF of deliberately bungling the exercise to lock out first-time voters from registering fearing that they could vote for his party.

Later in the afternoon, Tsvangirai addressed another rally at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura where he said his government would redistribute land on a one-person-one farm basis and introduce mechanisms that promote productivity.

“There must be food security in this country, a country once described as a breadbasket, but now described as a basket case,” Tsvangirai said.

“Our problem is that people are not farming. If you are farming, why should we remove you since you are a Zimbabwean? We must rationalise this programme so that we all benefit. It should be one-person one-farm.”

He said the MDC-T did not just want to be in power, but had plans to restore Zimbabwe’s economy by first addressing governance issues like the abuse of police power.

Tsvangirai also visited Mt Darwin and Madziwa.

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