TENSION is rising between MDC-T and Zanu PF in Bulawayo after youths from the country’s main opposition party staged a protest in the Mpopoma-Pelandaba constituency claiming that the ruling party is preparing to rig the June 10 parliamentary by-elections.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
The country is preparing for elections after MDC-T recalled at least 21 MPs aligned to MDC-Renewal led by Sekai Holland last month.
Five of the constituencies are in Bulawayo and Zanu PF has declared its intention to reclaim the seats lost in 2000 to the then newly-formed MDC.
MDC-T youth secretary for Mpopoma-Pelandaba constituency Mthokozisi Ncube said yesterday’s protest was sparked by a Zanu PF door-to-door campaign to recruit potential voters.
He claimed the party had embarked on a door-to-door campaign where it was recording names of unregistered voters and trying to intimidate them into voting for Zanu PF.
“We staged protests today (yesterday) against Zanu PF in the constituency. We noted that Zanu PF members have begun their door-to-door visits registering children aged between 15 and 17,” he claimed.
“They are told they would vote in the by-elections. We totally condemn such moves of forcing people to vote against their will.”
Ncube said the demonstrations targeted potential Zanu PF candidates Sikhanyiso Ndlovu and Joe Tshuma.
“Although we never saw Tshuma and Ndlovu, our message was clear, they should stop forcing people especially, children to vote,” he said.
“Tshuma should tell his other central committee members in their next meeting to stop it.”
However, Ndlovu who last week declared that he was interested in representing Zanu PF in the polls said he was not aware of the demonstration.
“No one has told me about the protests. In any case, I am in Harare now,” he said.
MDC-T has threatened to boycott the by-elections demanding electoral reforms. Zanu PF has scoffed at the boycott threats saying the opposition is afraid of certain defeat.