By Daniel Chigundu
MDC-T has castigated Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) legislator Simbaneuta Mudarikwa for declaring that there was no space for the opposition in his constituency.
On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the self-styled legislator declared that there is no space for the opposition in UMP and also that Zanu PF is guaranteed of getting 80 000 votes in this particular constituency in the impending 2018 general elections.
However in statement MDC-T national spokesperson Obert Gutu said no part of Zimbabwe must be inaccessible to the opposition and that Mudarikwa’s statement could mean Zanu PF has started the rigging process.
“The remarks by Mudarikwa, at the official handover of an irrigation scheme sponsored by World Vision in Mudzi district, cannot go unchallenged. Indeed, these thuggish and threatening remarks are clearly indicative of an intolerant and violent politician.
“It is well – documented in the annals of the political history of UMP, that this particular constituency invariably experiences extreme and barbaric politically motivated violence during every election since the year 2000.
“Hundreds of MDC supporters were murdered in cold blood in this particular district during the violent Presidential election run-off in 2008. Many women in this district were savagely raped and sexually molested by known Zanu PF political thugs and hoodlums,” he said.
Since formation, MDC-T has faced challenges in trying to gain access to rural areas especially in Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West which are usually declared no-go-areas by alleged Zanu PF youths.
Surprisingly it is also in these prohibited areas; especially UMP that Zanu PF continues to get more votes in elections than elsewhere.
Various opposition supporters in rural areas across the country have also reportedly lost their property during election time while the likes of Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika were petrol-bombed while campaigning for Morgan Tsvangirai.
The MDC-T spokesperson said it is highly inappropriate and completely out of order for Mudarikwa to publicly boast that Zanu PF has virtually made his constituency a no go area for opposition political parties.
“For Mudarikwa to declare that Zanu PF will obtain 80 000 votes in the 2018 elections in a rural district with barely 20 000 registered voters also points to the fact that the Zanu PF regime is already in the process of rigging the 2018 harmonized elections.
“World Vision is a respectable global non – governmental organization which should never, ever allow political thugs in the form of Simbaneuta Mudarikwa to utter such ridiculous and threatening political remarks at such a solemn and dignified occasion such as the handing over of an irrigation scheme,” said Gutu.
The lawyer-come politician urged World Vision to immediately dissociate itself from the politically inappropriate remarks that were uttered by Mudarikwa to safeguard their image as an apolitical non – governmental organization that abhors and condemns all forms of politically motivated violence and thuggery.
According to MDC-T, the political situation is deteriorating in most rural areas of Zimbabwe where villagers are being forced and commandeered to attend Zanu PF rallies and functions.
The biggest opposition party in the country added that UMP is an outpost of politically motivated violence and opposition political parties have always been threatened and harassed by Zanu PF thugs each time that they intend to hold rallies and other meetings in this particular district and also in the whole of Mashonaland East province.
“Zimbabwe is at the crossroads, said MDC-T “and the last thing that our battered and bruised nation needs is another disputed election next year.
“This is the main reason why we are fervently advocating for the adoption of electoral reforms in time for the harmonized elections to be held in 2018.
“It is against this background that we call upon excitable and irresponsible politicians in the mould of one Simbaneuta Mudarikwa to tone down their language and behave like honourable Members of Parliament and not like some drunken and misguided political malcontents,”.