The “request” by Zanu PF Masvingo province for all civil servants in the province to contribute at least $1 each, while government institutions, including schools, are commanded to make cash and kind donations towards President Robert Mugabe’s campaign rally this Friday is untimely, diabolic and unfortunate, to say the least.
Comment: NewsDay Editor
For the ruling party, which claims to be popular, to force people to contribute towards a rally is unheard of. The order can only show one thing – that Zimbabwe is under a dictatorship.
It boggles the mind how Zanu PF can force the poverty-stricken villagers in the largely drought-prone region to contribute towards a party event.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa should be reminded that the Friday rally is not a national event that would require every government department, institutions and residents to contribute in cash or kind.
Mahofa must also understand that Zanu PF and the government are different institutions, and her actions are tantamount to suppressing the poor majority.
We urge Mugabe to speak strongly against these shenanigans which have the potential to destroy his legacy, and the party in the politically volatile province. Instead of luring supporters, the top party officials are actually doing the opposite.
We do not understand why people must be forced to contribute towards a Zanu PF cause. Zanu PF is one political institution that benefits from the Political Parties (Finance) Act, which civil servants contribute to through Pay As You Earn.
What is also disturbing is the fact that Mahofa has made it compulsory for all schools, public and private, to release their buses to ferry supporters to Mucheke for the rally.
We have reason to be worried given she even intimated that students are also youths and should attend yet O and A Level students are preparing for the final examinations.
Zanu PF must be warned against its continued trampling on human and people’s rights solely to retain power.
If indeed the governing party is popular, then there would be no need to force-march people from across the province to attend the youth rally.
It is a disgusting thing for Mugabe’s party to continue to wine and dine at the expense of the poor majority.
Masvingo province is perennially hit by hunger due to drought, and yet Zanu PF officials never miss a chance to host Mugabe’s unending gatherings.
Mugabe should be warned that this continued neglect and abuse of the poor people will cost the party come the 2018 elections.
We are aware that top Zanu PF officials in the two distinct party factions in Masvingo and elsewhere across the country have embraced the youth rallies as a means to outdo each other.
We urge the authorities to come clean on this issue and allow people to attend these so-called presidential youth interface rallies on their own volition.
Forcing people to attend these gatherings defeats the whole purpose of freely interfacing with Mugabe. Instead, this may have a snowball effect on the party.
Sanity must prevail for the good of the country, and politicians must desist from abusing State resources for self-aggrandisement.