By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
15 April 2014
ZANU PF officials in the Mudzi district have been accused of forcing cash-strapped villagers to contribute money towards Independence Day celebrations.
The villagers say ZANU PF officials behind this directive are the District Administrator Tawabarira Kutamahufa, the MPs for Mudzi West and North Aqualinah Katsande and Newton Kachepa, as well as Boy Katsande, a councillor in one of the Wards in the area.
Disgruntled villagers who spoke to SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said they were being forced to pay between fifty cents and $1 each, while businesspeople were ordered to fork out $2-$5 each.
This is not the first time that the villagers in Mudzi have been forced to pay towards ZANU PF functions, a situation they are unhappy about.
Although the area is largely ZANU PF dominated, even the party’s supporters are unhappy with the way senior officials force them to donate money which most of them struggle to raise.
Mudzi district is also well-known for political violence perpetrated against opposition MDC-T supporters during election times.
MP Katsande and Kachepa have been implicated in a number of cases involving the harassment of MDC-T activists, including the murder of well-known MDC-T official Cephas Magura, whose case was reported to the SADC Tribunal.
MDC-T activists in the district have been denied food aid as punishment for supporting the opposition.
The country’s Independence Day falls on April 18th, and comes against a backdrop of a failing economy, company closures, job losses, and massive corruption in the public sector.