Zanu PF ‘deploys drones’ to spy on CCC ... as FAZ wreaks havoc in Zaka

President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed this yesterday while addressing a Zanu PF campaign rally in Zaka district, Masvingo province

THE ruling Zanu PF party yesterday “deployed drones” to spy on the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) campaign launch in Gweru as the August 23 polls campaign heats up.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed this yesterday while addressing a Zanu PF campaign rally in Zaka district, Masvingo province.

CCC has been finding the going tough after the majority of its rallies were banned and the latest move by Zanu PF is one of the ruling party’s many attempts to outwit the opposition ahead of elections.

Acknowledging the huge crowd gathered in Zaka, Mnangagwa said the party was on a growth trajectory compared to other parties.

“We launched in Chipinge and there were many people. We went to Bulilima (Matabeleland South), then we were in Magunje, there were 75 000 people,” said Mnangagwa.

“Today, our drones have counted the people and we have 124 000 people. We have also sent our drones to Gweru, where the other party is launching and there are 15 000 people.”

Before the Zaka rally at Chinorumba Secondary School, Zanu PF affiliates led by Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) reportedly camped in the area to coerce villagers to attend the rally as Mnangagwa, who is facing stiff competition from CCC’s Nelson Chamisa, pulls all stops to convince Zimbabweans to re-elect him during the forthcoming plebiscite.

Speaking to NewsDay ahead of the Zaka rally, villagers said Zanu PF officials visited each homestead ahead of the rally.

“They embarked on a door-to-door excursion and recorded our names saying buses will come to pick us up for the rally. We were also promised seed maize for the forthcoming agricultural season,” one villager said, requesting to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation.

Villagers attending Mnangagwa’s rallies are being spoiled with fried chicken and chips, bread, bottled water and drinks with a local seed company dishing out various vegetable seeds.

Zanu PF provincial spokesperson for Masvingo, Pedzisayi Chiwewe denied the coercion allegations.

“All the people who attend our rallies come on their own volition and no one is forced to attend. If any CCC supporters feel compelled to attend, they should not come because we are expecting our supporters only,” Chiwewe said.

The ruling Zanu PF has also been accused of abducting and victimising villagers who do not attend its rallies.

While addressing the rally, Mnangagwa stressed the need for peace ahead of the elections.

“I am aware the other party is also launching its campaign today and I hope it is preaching peace. We want all political parties to be peaceful during this election,” he said.

“I am happy to announce that since we announced the election date, there has been peace across the country. We acknowledge that people have different views and that is democracy. Those who want to teach us democracy should jump into the sea and die.”

The Zanu PF leader said the country’s economic growth was the fastest in the Sadc region, growing by 3% per annum.

“We want the economy to continue growing and we chose two sectors of the economy — agriculture and mining — to spearhead the growth,” he said.

Zanu PF handed out vegetable seeds, 10 hens each to women in the province while traditional leaders were blessed with goats.

Mnangagwa handed over a company certificate for Mbuyamaswa village, where the village head will be the chairperson, while villagers will be shareholders.

The villagers were issued with bank cards.

The party also distributed 120 000 tonnes of mealie-meal to villagers.

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