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Stop Zanu PF extortionists, villagers plead

VILLAGERS in some parts of the country have appealed to the Zanu PF leadership to rein in their local party leaders who are reportedly fleecing them of cash under the guise of raising funds for independence day celebrations this week.

This year’s national independence day commemorations will be held in Buhera district, but other celebrations will be conducted at district and provincial levels countrywide.

This publication heard that some Zanu PF district officials were demanding contributions of between US$1 and US$2 from grassroots supporters purportedly to buy food for the commemorations. 

It has also been established that some Zanu PF officials had ordered village heads to collect the cash from the villagers on their behalf and villagers that try to resist  are threatened with unspecified actions.

It is said that the ruling party has since last week been holding meetings in districts at ward and cell levels to organise for the independence day celebrations where leaders demanded the contributions for the event from party supporters.

A message sent by one village head (name supplied) in Domboshava near Harare to his subjects read: “Good afternoon. May I have your full names and national registration number. I want to submit the book to Goromonzi tomorrow.

“We want US$3 land tax fee and US$1 independence contribution).”

A Domboshava villager said:  “The cash for independence celebrations is not receipted and I am concerned about that.

“Money is scarce. I had reasoned with the village head that I would not go to the event because I can’t afford the US$2, but he said it is a national event that ought to be supported by everyone regardless of attendance.”

Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said donating for the celebrations was voluntary.

He urged villagers to report party members, who were forcing them to contribute to the police

“There is actually a stampede among the businesspeople to support the event,” Mutsvangwa said. 

“The commemorations are well sponsored. We have created so many happy businesspeople, who are eager to support.

“They are making money because of the president, so they are ready to sponsor Zanu PF activities.

“The president has received 10 cows for that event from Giant Mine in Chegutu.

“So many SMEs [small to medium enterprises] are ready to sponsor because they are happy with how they are making money.”

Over the years, Zanu PF has been demanding contributions from civil servants, vendors  and businesspeople to fund state programmes.

Indications are that the money has been pocketed for personal use by party bigwigs.

Source | TheStandard


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