TENSION has gripped Mashonaland Central ahead of former Vice-President and Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) leader Joice Mujuru’s star rally at Aerodrome Shopping Centre in Bindura on Saturday.
ZimPF interim provincial chairman Godfrey Chimombe yesterday confirmed Mujuru’s planned visit, which came as several party members have had their houses torched by suspected Zanu PF supporters.
“There is tension this side, but we are ready for the rally. Zanu PF supporters are instilling fear and intimidating our party supporters in a bid to bar them from attending our rallies. People are having their houses burnt,” Chimombe said.
“Last Thursday, ZimPF Bindura North ward 20 secretary Tope Tope had his house burnt at around midnight. Our provincial secretary for mobilisation, Musvauki, in Guruve South, also had his kitchen razed down. But we are not moved by that. We have been holding mini-rallies to mobilise our supporters to travel to Bindura for the rally.
“We are employing a number of strategies to deliver the message to the people that we are tired of this (Zanu PF) system and that they should not fear to come and be addressed by party leaders. Mashonaland Central used to be a Zanu PF stronghold, but it no longer is, Mujuru commands a huge following here.”
However, Zanu PF provincial leaders have distanced themselves and party members from the alleged arson attacks.
Mujuru hails from Dotito in Mashonaland Central and the rally could be used to measure how much support she has in her home province following her decision to enter the opposition fray after she was expelled from Zanu PF in 2014.
The former Vice-President is currently on a nationwide tour, meeting supporters ahead of the party’s elective convention to be held next month in Harare.
ZimPF rallies have been facing disruptions from Zanu PF youths and police, forcing Mujuru to seek recourse at the courts. newsday