FAZ members terrorise Masvingo villagers

Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ)

VILLAGERS in some parts of Masvingo district have raised concern over an increase in human rights violations in their area, with members of the shadowy Zanu PF affiliate Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) cited as perpetrators.

This was highlighted last month during a community dialogue meeting organised by Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development  in ward 18. Community members claimed that FAZ had deployed three representatives in each ward  representatives, who will be taking down details of community members as well as asking them about their voter registration and political status. In Matsikidze village alleged FAZ members were identified as Vunganai Mutumhe, Gabriel Manatsa, and one Matsikidze.

 “The FAZ team is campaigning for the ruling party and are forcing every community member to support the sitting President, they are intimidating the community and forcefully urging the electorates to vote wisely by voting for the sitting President to avoid the 2008 scenario,” said a villager who declined to be named.

“They were given cell phones which they used for data collection from the communities and it is said that they shared the information they collected with the Central Intelligent officers and other top ruling party officials.”

The matter was reported to the police but no action was taken.

Similar cases of human rights violations were also recorded in wards 16, 17, and 21 of Masvingo district.  One of the village heads who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “As village heads we were ordered by the FAZ leaders to compile a list of every community member and which party they belong to and submit the copies to the FAZ members”.

Community members are forced to join ruling party cell groups and are instructed not to attend other political party meetings or meetings organized by NGOs without FAZ or village head’s approval.

Ward 16 councillor Demba highlighted that “community members, especially opposition party supporters are now leaving in fear of their lives, as they are receiving threats daily from FAZ members for supporting their political parties”.

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