Zanu PF ‘vandalises’ CCC-linked projects

Zanu PF youth leader Tinoda Machakaire

ZANU PF supporters have been accused of vandalising infrastructure and disrupting developmental projects suspected to be linked to sitting Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors and legislators in some parts of the country to spite the opposition ahead of the August 23 elections.

NewsDay Weekender has heard that Zanu PF and its affiliate Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) recently destroyed a borehole in Bikita's ward 18.

Ruling party members allegedly poured cement and threw rocks into the newly-drilled borehole, which was a community initiative.

Timothy Chinake, a villager, said: “We came together as a community and carried out this project.

“ Later on, some Zanu PF and FAZ members came asking who had done the project before vandalising it.”

But Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa denied the charge, saying the ruling party was pro-development.

“President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa is pro-development and the ruling party has brought development since 1980,” Mutsvangwa said.

“We are unperturbed by what the Citizens Coalition for Change (does) and we do not lose sleep over it.”

However, reports from some election monitoring watchdogs indicate that Zanu supporters were playing dirty in their campaigns.

Reports by independent election monitoring groups show a surge in cases of politically-motivated violence in some parts of the country.

A weekly report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum cited Zanu PF supporters as inciting violence and intimidating opposition activists. 

Zanu PF youth leader Tinoda Machakaire on Thursday pleaded with ruling party supporters to shun violence and hate speech during their campaigns.

Addressing party supporters in Wedza South constituency where he is seeking re-election, Machakaire said: “We don't want to hear that Zanu PF people are causing violence in Wedza.

“I don't condone violence. I don't want to have blood in my hands.

“Councillors should not be greedy.

“Do not tear posters of other political candidates.”

 “If you walk with me I don’t expect you to scold others.

“I don’t condone such behaviour.

“ People should join Zanu PF willingly because of the good work we are doing and the message we are pushing,” Machakaire added.

Early this week, an audio recording emerged where Environment and Tourism deputy minister Barbra Rwodzi is heard verbally assaulting a police officer who had opened a docket against a Zanu PF member accused of defacing Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) campaign posters.

Analysts, however, urged the ruling party to walk the talk and rein in its supporters accused of promoting violence.

Social and political commentator Effie Ncube said: “Most of the political leaders are saying the right things but not converting the talk to action on the ground.

“They talk peace but practise violence against political opponents.

“They speak democracy but are undermining it with their actions.

“What we now need are leaders who will walk the talk for peaceful, credible, transparent, free and fair elections.”

Political analyst Ricky Mukonza said: “I think Zanu PF has a feeling that they are going to win the elections.

“They are, therefore, trying to do so as cleanly as possible, hence the preaching of peace and non-violence as well as the invitation of international elections observers.”

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