A CLOSE relative of First Lady Grace Mugabe, Lisbon Marufu, who is an aspiring Zengeza West Zanu PF MP, has been accused of unleashing marauding youths to disrupt MDC-T candidate Simon Chidakwa’s rallies.
As the election date draws nearer, political temperatures are rising in Chitungwiza where Zanu PF youths are moving around constituencies intimidating MDC-T supporters, according to Chidakwa.
The aspiring MDC-T legislator said Marufu’s supporters disrupted his rally recently at Zengeza grounds and he had to seek police intervention.
“We have had nightmares in Zengeza where two trucks packed with Zanu PF youths are moving around intimidating our supporters not to attend rallies while forcing everyone to Zanu PF functions,” said Chidakwa.
“This has made the political playing field uneven.”
Other frustrating tactics employed by Zanu PF include sticking posters on top of MDC-T candidates’ posters as the former ruling party supporters seek to dominate the election campaign period.
The Zanu PF youths’ disruptive behaviour, Chidakwa said, has already been reported to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“Despite the intimidating tactics, people are braving the tense atmosphere to attend our rallies. We have also launched a door-to-door campaign as well as churches and schools campaign distributing fliers to counter the removal of our posters,” he said.
President Robert Mugabe has been preaching peace but some of his supporters are turning a deaf ear and engaging in violent behaviour although the situation is relatively calmer than during the 2008 presidential poll run-off bloodbath.
Chidakwa is promising to address perennial water and sewer problems in Zengeza West, while more attention will also be given towards rehabilitation of roads and public buildings which have been neglected by successive councils. He has also promised to resuscitate industries which were shut down at the height of the economic meltdown.
The MDC-T’s strategy to revive the economy is through luring investors to re-open closed companies to create employment for many youths roaming the streets.
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo dismissed Chidakwa’s claims that party youths were wreaking havoc saying the MDC-T was panicking after witnessing record crowds at Mugabe’s star rallies.