03 Feb 2017 - NEMANWA – Chief Fortune Charumbira is being accused of threatening villagers that food aid will be withdrawn unless they vote for the Zanu PF candidate in the Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC) Ward 12 by-election set for February 25, 2017.
The seat will be contested by Zanu PF's William Shangwa and the opposition People First (ZimPF)'s Rosewetta Madzivire.
ZimPF claims that Chief Charumbira has warned villagers to vote 'wisely' if they want to continue receiving food aid and agricultural inputs being dished out by the government under the command agriculture programme.
Having recently lost the Bikita West parliamentary by-election, ZimPF hopes to restore lost confidence.
ZimPF Masvingo provincial spokesperson, Jeffryson Chitando said intimidation has also started and accused Chief Charumbira as the chief culprit.
"We failed in Bikita because people were being threatened by traditional leadership and it seems the same thing is now happening in Ward 12. Our team on the ground is working hard to make sure that the people are not deterred from voting for their favourite candidate, Madzivire," Chitando said.
He said Chief Charumbira has taken it upon himself to ensure a Zanu PF victory but expressed confidence that his party will still win.
"Madzivire is in good books with the people of ward 12 because she used to be their councillor and stands a better chance for a clean sweep victory. Zanu PF has never played fair and is using food aid and agricultural inputs as leverage.
"We get reports that Charumbira has his team of spies which takes note of all those who attend ZimPF meetings so that they will be denied food aid," said Chitando.
Efforts to get a comment from Chief Charumba were fruitless by the time of going to print.politics