(Last Updated on June 24, 2021 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
A PEACE-BUILDING rights group has said local communities have been turned into battlegrounds by Zanu PF foot soldiers canvassing for party votes ahead of the 2023 polls.
A May report by Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT) claims that the ruling party has deployed traditional leaders and school development committee leaders to coerce citizens to support the ruling party.
“From the time the ruling party, Zanu PF, announced that it was targeting five million voters ahead of the 2023 elections, local communities have been transformed into battlegrounds for votes,” the report read in part.
“The enjoyment of political rights that are a constitutional right have been denied as citizens are being forced to join Zanu PF district co-ordinating committees (DCCs) or are denied food aid from the department of social welfare.
“The DCC exercise has also taken various forms as even school development committees are being directed to establish DCC structures for the ruling party. In most cases, political meetings disguised as development meetings have been used as platforms to intimidate citizens.”
Last year, Zanu PF vice-president Kembo Mohadi said the ruling party was targeting five million votes, but was not at liberty to disclose how.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu declined to comment over the matter.