Marginalization unites Matabeleland villagers against govt

Irked by their continued marginalization, villagers from Matabeleland North province have joined progressive forces calling for the removal of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) from power.

BY Edgar Gweshe

Grouped under the Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe campaign, the villagers said that since independence, Zanu (PF) has failed to usher in meaningful development in their province.

Another point of displeasure for the Matabeleland North villagers is that Zanu (PF) has used divisive politics to ensure they continue manipulating them especially during election periods.

The Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe Matabeleland North Chapter, Tafara Nkole said it was high time to resist Zanu (PF) manipulation tactics.

“So far, we are working with villagers from Binga, Hwange, Lupane and Jambezi. The response that we have received so far has been quite encouraging. Villagers are concerned that development is largely lacking in their areas while ruling party officials continue to loot national resources for personal benefit.

“Our message is that we are tired of propaganda and divisive politics by Zanu (PF) hence we will be mobilizing in Matabeleland North province so that we ensure Zanu (PF) is removed from power come 2018,” said Nkole.

The Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye iZimbabwe campaign, led by Victor Chimhutu, was launched in August this year as a way of educating and mobilizing rural voters to vote Zanu (PF) out of power.

The campaign was born out of the fact that the rural populace constitutes a large part of the Zimbabwean electorate hence the need to mobilize them if efforts to remove Zanu (PF) from power are to bear the desired fruits.

Villagers in Matabeleland North are furious that Zanu (PF) has often treated them as second class citizens and the ruling party’s failure to conduct programmes aimed at achieving healing and reconciliation after the Gukurahundi massacres has made the situation worse.

An estimated 20 000 civilians from the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces died during the Gukurahundi massacres which were instigated by Zanu (PF) in the 1980s.

“Instead of showing remorse, the ruling party continues to treat us as second class citizens. They have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that they do not have regrets about Gukurahundi and our question is why should we continue to vote for people like that.

“We feel that as long as we have Zanu (PF) in power, there will not be any democracy or development to talk about in Zimbabwe,” said Nkole.