HomeLocal NewsUMP headman bullies villagers over Zanu PF meetings

UMP headman bullies villagers over Zanu PF meetings

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BY KENNETH NYANGANI
A HEADMAN in Mtawatawa, Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, has threatened to banish villagers from the area if they fail to attend Zanu PF indoctrination meetings.

Simbarashe Chingoma, Moses Jaji, Progress Zhangazha, Silas Chikanya and Lovemore Muchenje through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have written to the headman, Petros Chikono, demanding that he withdraws his threats or face legal action.

Chikono reportedly issued the threats on June 5 during a meeting held at his homestead.

“We are further advised that at the village meeting, you addressed our clients and the rest of the village threatening them that (they were among those) who were supporting opposition political parties and not supporting Zanu PF,” the ZLHR letter dated June 8 read.

“You threatened our clients and the rest of the village by stating that those who were not supporting Zanu PF’s names had been forwarded to the Zanu PF party offices in Mtawatawa and in this respect, you specifically mentioned our client Lovemore Muchenje.”

The letter adds: “You further made chilling threats to the villagers that all those who did not support Zanu PF would be banished from Chikono village. We are further advised that you and Thomas Chingoma (a Zanu PF official) further stated that at the said compulsory meetings, a register will be kept and all those who do not attend the meetings will be dealt with and threatened them with unspecified repercussions.”

The ZLHR said the duo’s conduct was unlawful, reckless and inflammatory given the history of politically-motivated violence that has taken place in the country towards elections.

“In view of the foregoing, we are instructed to demand as we hereby do, that, within 48 hours of your receipt of this letter, you withdraw and/or set aside your intended programme of compulsory Zanu PF meetings at your homestead, immediately stop engaging in partisan politics including but not limited to holding Zanu PF meetings disguised as village meetings at your homestead and furnish us with your written undertaking to that effect,” ZLHR wrote.

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