INDEPENDENT candidate Edmore Mtetwa, who is giving Zanu PF a torrid time in the Chimanimani West constituency, has claimed that the ruling party is using dirty tricks to claim the seat ahead of the by-election slated for November 26.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Mtetwa said that Zanu PF was last week on a “vote-buying’’ spree to woo voters for its candidate Nokhutula Matsikenyere, who is vying for the seat with two other candidates: Peter Gudyanga from the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe and Pesanai Musakanuka of the National Constitutional Assembly.
Last Friday, Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri toured the constituency where they dished out food items to villagers.
In an interview yesterday, Mtetwa said Zanu PF was using food from the Social Welfare ministry for its campaign ahead of the elections.
‘’I am not happy at all because Zanu PF is using dirty tricks to try and win the seat. Last Friday, they gave each family 50kg of maize and 2kg of rice, those who did not attend the rallies were not given anything, the food was distributed in ward 15 and 17,” he said.
“My question is: Are they now caring for the people because there are elections around the corner? During the meetings youths were intimidating our supporters. We are encouraging people if they have the opportunity they should take the foodstuffs, but not give their vote,” he added.
“They are using food from the governent to campaign and they have been using World Vision initiatives,” he said.
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Matsikenyere, however, dismissed the allegations saying: “There was no vote-buying. I distributed my own rice, but on the issue of maize it was for the vulnerable, I don’t know how it was handled,”she said. “You can ask me over the issue of rice because it was mine. We gave people who attended the rally.”
Opposition parties in the constituency are ganging up against Zanu PF to wrest the seat that fell vacant after Munacho Mutezo was expelled from the party for defecting to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First party.
Zanu PF is under pressure to win the seat after recently losing the Norton constituency seat to independent candidate Temba Mliswa.