Opposition MDC Alliance has said its supporters in Chimanimani have claimed that they are being intimidated and sometimes beaten up by Zanu PF supporters for not supporting the ruling party.
The supporters are also reportedly being asked to surrender their registration details for them to get free agricultural inputs under the presidential input scheme.
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MDC Alliance Manicaland spokesperson David Panganai said, ahead of the 2023 polls, there were growing fears of human rights violations by ruling party supporters. Panganai said:
I have reports of intimidation around Manicaland and Chimanimani in particular.
They are being told at meetings that if they do not vote for Zanu PF, they are not going to receive presidential inputs or they will be beaten.
We have reports that our supporters are being asked by Zanu PF supporters to surrender their registration details so that they will get land. Why do they need registration details? This is clear intimidation.
Founder of Young Entrepreneurs Trust Zimbabwe, Fungai Nhaitai, said he was manhandled by unknown persons who claimed that he was mobilising youths in Mutare to vote against Zanu PF.
A member of a local non-governmental organisation, Rutendo Gwawu, who also attended a meeting organised by Nhaitai said he was taken outside the meeting by some people impersonating the police and quizzed over his political affiliation.
But Zanu PF Manicaland acting secretary for administration Misheck Mugadza refuted the claims saying ZANU PF is a democratic party. He added:
We are focusing on mobilising five million votes ahead of the 2023 elections. The new dispensation does not abuse people, MDC supporters should come and get presidential inputs and land.
Zimbabwe has a history of human rights abuses towards elections and the reports of intimidation instil fear after some ZANU PF officials, including president Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba, openly declared that the party will not relinquish power even if it loses.