THE MDC has expressed concern at the displacement of its voters under the government’s clean-up operation as the party prepares to lock horns with Zanu PF in the Bulawayo mayoral elections due t
The MDC spo-kesman for Bulawayo, Victor Moyo, said a lot of his party’s supporters were displaced by the government orchestrated clean-up exercise that saw thousands of people lose their homes.
“We know that the whole operation was implemented by Zanu PF to change demographic voting patterns in urban areas but that is not going to deter us because we are going to retain the city come Saturday evening,” Moyo said.
He said the MDC was hoping to get over 100 000 voters casting their ballot in favour of its candidate, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube.
Ncube, who is the incumbent executive mayor for Bulawayo, battles it out with Zanu PF’s Dickson Abu-Basuthu for the highest seat in the city.
The election will act as a barometer of urbanites’ anger over destruction of their properties by President Mugabe’s government.
Moyo supported the view that the electorate would vote against Zanu PF because the people were still angry over the destruction of their properties by the government and were likely to use their emotions when casting votes.
Zanu PF secretary for Information and Publicity, Effort Nkomo, however dismissed claims that the people of Bulawayo will vote against his party saying the MDC through its mayor Ncube was also responsible for the destruction of the properties.
“If there is anger over Murambatsvina, then there should be anger also against Ncube because as the mayor of the city he is also part of the government and there is no way the people can be angry at Zanu PF and not be angry at the incumbent mayor,” Nkomo said.
He however said Zanu PF had covered ground in terms of the campaign and further said the party would wrestle the mayorship from the MDC.
Nkomo said he was encouraged by the peaceful conduct of both parties during the mayoral campaign.
Ncube in an interview this week expressed confidence that he would retain his position.
“The campaign has been peaceful,” said Ncube. “We have held rallies in halls, open spaces and we have also embarked on door-to-door campaigns where we have been issuing fliers and come Saturday (tomorrow) we will be celebrating,” Ncube said.
Ncube also expressed concern at the displacement of his party supporters under the clean-up operation.
Meanwhile, police in Bulawayo on Wednesday night arrested 12 opposition MDC activists for distributing fliers urging people to vote for incumbent mayor Ncube.
The 12 activists were arrested in Bulawayo’s Emakhandeni suburb as they went on a door-to-door campaign to garner last minute support for Ncube.
Moyo said the police alleged that the eleven were arrested for causing disorder and chaos in the suburb.
Police spokesman, Wayne Bvudzijena, promised to look into the matter when contacted for a comment yesterday afternoon.