ZANU PF youths rampaged through Mbare suburb on Monday forcing residents on to buses to attend Heroes Day commemorations to boost numbers at the National Heroes Acre.
Sources told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday that members of the y
outh militia ordered residents to go to the Heroes Acre with Mbare residents being the most affected.
“Business came to a standstill at Mupedzanhamo, Mbare-Musika and Siyaso,” said a resident who declined to be named. “We were forced into buses while a register was being marked for those attending. It was more like a roll-call.”
The resident said a Zanu PF Mbare district secretary only identified as Mutowe warned that those who refused to join the nation for the Heroes Day celebrations were sell-outs from the opposition MDC.
On Tuesday the ruling party youths again stormed Mupedzanhamo where they barred traders whose names did not appear on their register from entering the premises to do business, accusing them of being “traitors”.
Contacted for comment, Zanu PF Harare provincial spokesperson, William Nhara, said he was in a meeting and could only attend to the press once he was done. Efforts to get back to him proved fruitless as his phone kept ringing without being answered.
An analyst said the development was a taste of Zanu PF’s own medicine by its staunch supporters in Mbare as the bulk of traders at Mupedzanhamo were beneficiaries of the party’s patronage system.
“It’s payback time for Zanu PF supporters who benefited from the widely-condemned Operation Murambatsvina and the chaotic land reform,” said the analyst.
“Many stalls were allocated on patronage lines. You needed to produce a Zanu PF card to be a beneficiary.”
Other than being force-marched to the Heroes Acre, residents were also asked to make contributions towards the commemorations.
Beneficiaries of the land reform were reportedly asked to contribute a minimum of $3 million towards the celebrations.