MVURWI — MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was on Wednesday forced to address his campaign rally outside Mvurwi Stadium, after hundreds of Zanu PF supporters besieged the venue.
MDC-T officials said they had booked the stadium earlier for their star rally, but Zanu PF supporters gathered inside the ground in the morning to block it.
“We booked the stadium, but in the morning (yesterday) we were told Zanu PF had booked (the same) stadium and we were supposed to pay $1 500,” Guruve South MDC-T youth chairman Fanel Chitsungo, who was at the Mvurwi rally, said.
“As a party, we decided to use the space outside the stadium.
“There was no noise, but they tried to provoke us by distributing Zanu PF T-shirts.”
When Tsvangirai arrived in the afternoon, some Zanu PF supporters started trickling out of the stadium and could be seen listening to the speech.
In his address, Tsvangirai blasted Zanu PF’s “culture of disturbing MDC rallies”, adding most State security agents who used to torment his party supporters had now come back to their senses and realised that violence did not win them votes.
“Everywhere we go, the story is the same — that Zanu PF is intimidating people,” he said.
“The people of Mashonaland Central have suffered for long and have never enjoyed freedom, even after independence.
“They continue to live in a Rhodesian environment. They should be allowed to have freedom of choice.”
The MDC-T leader said Zanu PF gave its youths alcohol so they could behave in a deplorable manner and disrupt rallies.
“Some are even wearing trousers without underwear, but they swear they want to die for Zanu PF,” he said. The party’s organising secretary Nelson Chamisa urged MDC-T supporters to ignore the Zanu PF supporters.
Later, the MDC-T leader had to call off his rally in Guruve, as he went to attend to 40 party activists who had been arrested.
His Glendale rally almost failed to take place after he found the place almost deserted, as several MDC-T supporters had been allegedly intimidated by Zanu PF activists.
About 1 000 of his supporters, however, later converged at the venue, but Zanu PF supporters in lorries disrupted the proceedings as they drove around the venue singing their party songs and effectively drowned Tsvangirai’s address.
Unperturbed, Tsvangirai continued with his address.
Local MDC-T supporters said when they went to report the disturbances at the local police station, they found the police playing Zanu PF songs from a computer.
They said Zanu PF supporters, who had followed them to the police station, also entered the charge office and started dancing to their party songs that police were playing.