No part of Zimbabwe must be inaccessible to the opposition

Simbaneuta Mudarikwa

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, one Simbaneuta Mudarikwa uttered some very unsavoury and thuggish remarks about the political situation in his constituency, Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe(UMP).

Mudarikwa is the Member of Parliament for UMP in the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe. He 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 2018 harmonized elections.

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. The homesteads of MDC supporters were burnt down and millions of dollars’ worth of property belonging to opposition supporters was looted and destroyed.

It is apparent that politicians in the mould of one Simbaneuta Mudarikwa actually aid and abet the acts of wanton political violence that are routinely perpetrated against MDC supporters in UMP. As a Member of Parliament, 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.

World Vision should immediately dissociate itself from the Stone Age and politically inappropriate remarks that were uttered by Simbaneuta Mudarikwa in Mudzi on Tuesday. We know World Vision to be an apolitical non - governmental organization that abhors and condemns all forms of politically motivated violence and thuggery.

The MDC is deeply concerned about the deteriorating political situation in most rural areas of Zimbabwe where villagers are being forced and commandeered to attend Zanu PF rallies and functions. Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe 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.

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. Zimbabwe is at the crossroads and the last thing that our battered and bruised nation needs is another disputed election next year. 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.

MDC: Equal Opportunities For All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson

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