THE election campaign season got off to a dirty start, with State media alleging that MDC-T provincial chairman Gorden Moyo wanted to defect to Zanu PF, an early indicator of the mudslinging likely to characterise electioneering.
Report by Blondie Ndebele
Barely two days after the sitting of the nomination court, ZBC claimed Moyo had attended a Zanu PF rally, where he was alleged to have pointed out that he wanted to join the party.
But Moyo yesterday hit back, saying he had only gone to meet the Zanu PF candidate for the area, Tshinga Dube, to inform him that his party had embarked on a terror campaign and needed to be reined in.
“Apparently, the success of our voter mobilisation drive in Makokoba has confused and paralysed Zanu PF,” he said.
“They have now reacted by intimidating our party members, planting fictitious stories and working with officials from the Registrar-General’s Office to deny residents national identity documents required for voter registration.”
Moyo said he had met Dube by chance, but an increase in intimidation of his party members by Zanu PF had made it important that he met the retired soldier and expressed his concern.
He said the report by the State broadcaster “raises serious questions about election reporting in Zimbabwe and further confirms the MDC-T demand for media reforms ahead of the 2013 elections”.
Moyo said the reports that he wanted to join Zanu PF were an attack on him and he took exception to it.
The MDC-T chairman said he had no intentions of joining Zanu PF, which he said, was now living in fool’s paradise and had no chance of winning in the general elections.
“This shows desperation in Zanu PF. For one to believe that I will join Zanu PF shows that that person is a fool,” he charged. “They are so desperate that when you talk to them they think you want to join them.”
However, Dube said Moyo had not mentioned anything about voter intimidation when the two met.
“He just came to greet me, since he was passing by. He never said anything about intimidation of people who wanted to register to vote,” he said.
Dube said he advocated for peace and he would forward any reports of intimidation to the police.
He said he and Moyo were friends who went to the same church and political differences could not drive a wedge between them.
“People can say anything and journalists usually write whatever they want, but Moyo has never told me he wants to join Zanu PF. We are close friends. Even if he loses or wins we will still remain friends,” he said.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has indicated that it will monitor media organisations ahead of elections to ensure that they reported accurately and did not peddle hate speech.
Dube was quoted on ZBC saying he had been surprised to see Moyo at his rally, but he welcomed new members into his party.