MDC T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday urged party supporters in Tsholotsho North constituency to either spoil ballot papers or shun polls altogether than vote for Information minister Jonathan Moyo – Zanu PF candidate – in the June 10 by-elections.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Tsvangirai was addressing a district rally in Jimila area, Tsholotsho North constituency, where Moyo is being challenged by two independent candidates, Busani Ncube and Getrude Sibanda.
“We are not supporting any candidate, but if you are to vote, when you enter the polling booth I urge you to write ‘No Reforms No Elections’ on the ballot paper. It’s either you spoil the ballot paper with this message or just boycott the polls altogether,” Tsvangirai said.
The MDC-T leader is holding countrywide rallies held under the theme ‘No Reforms No Elections’ to explain the party’s decision to boycott the plebiscite.
The boycott decision has not gone down well with the MDC-T Matabeleland structures which have described the move as good as giving Zanu PF a back-door to claim seats that it has never won, especially in Bulawayo, since 1999.
Tsvangirai said Moyo had nothing to offer the people of Tsholotsho North. He alleged that the ruling will bus supporters to vote for the Information minister on June 10 to “appear like it was a resounding victory”.
“Who does not know that Jonathan does not represent anyone? Where was he all along to now pretend he cares for the people through his vote-buying gimmicks like giving villagers rice? Will rice change people’s lives? Zanu has destroyed everything since 1980 and cannot claim to want to better people’s lives.
“And for those that intend to vote for Moyo, it would not be because he has the support of the people, but because they will use politics of the stomach, they would vote for rice! We know Tsholotsho North election result has already been determined or rigged in his favour before the polling day, since they would bus supporters from other constituencies to come and vote.”
He alleged that thousands of voters were also bussed to vote for Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxillia in the Chirumanzu Zibagwe constituency..
“It is going to be a hollow victory for him because of vote-buying and people being bussed in. This is the reason why we are not participating and we should not forget that (President Robert) Mugabe has said it before that a pencil does not guarantee a vote, but a gun does. And with such thinking, it is a waste of time participating in by-elections,” Tsvangirai added.
Zanu PF campaign teams in the area have reportedly been distributing rice to villagers in the constituency because they face hunger following poor harvests.
Villagers have been promised boreholes to alleviate water shortages that have bedevilled the area for years amid promises of more goodies.
Zanu PF campaign teams are reportedly conducting door-to-door campaigns and traditional leaders have been roped in to urge subjects to vote for the ruling party.