BUHERA – Formal business people and street vendors selling privately-owned newspapers say they are no longer feeling safe after suspected Zanu PF functionaries in the district reportedly warned them that selling such media was like betraying President Robert Mugabe.
People who spoke to TellZim News said they were told in no uncertain terms that they must sell only State-controlled newspapers as all the other ones were 'antagonistic' to the ruling party.
One grocery shop which used to sell all newspapers, privately-owned or otherwise, has since complied with the order 'to avoid the consequences'.
"I was told that privately-owned newspapers are critical of the government and are tools of the opposition bent on destroying the President and the ruling party so I have complied with the order.
"I have been doing this business for a long time but things seem to be going bad now that elections are approaching. You don't want to be vulnerable, you want to be safe," said a jittery business person.
One street vendor who now sells food on the dusty streets of the growth point said she had moved from the newspaper selling business out of fear.
"I was afraid of being targeted so I stopped although selling newspapers does not mean you agree with everything that is written in there. A pharmacist sells medicine, but you may find that he does not want his children to take some of the very medicine he sells," said the vendor.
Murambinda and the whole Buhera district are considered as Zanu PF strongholds and villagers say political temperatures have been rising there as the country hurtles towards the 2018 general elections.local