Address fear factor, opposition told

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CHEGUTU East MDC Alliance parliamentary candidate, Tawanda Bvumo said the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition political outfit needs to work hard to cast out fear inherent in the rural electorate following years of intimidation and torture by ruling Zanu PF party activists, if the coalition fancies any hopes of winning in the upcoming 2018 harmonised elections.

BY JAMES MUONWA

Bvumo, originally from the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party, is contesting the July 30 elections on an MDC Alliance ticket.

He said voters in rural areas feared casting their ballot in favour of the opposition in fear of retribution by Zanu PF elements who threaten violence upon them.

“We have mobilised adequately and conducted extensive voter education and have assured the electorate that no harm will befall them if they vote the opposition. Voters have generally been intimidated and this has cost us votes in previous elections, but this time they are wiser and more informed that their choice is their secret,” he said.
Bvumo faces Zanu PF stalwart Webster Shamu, who has been legislator for the constituency for the last 10 years. The two squared up in the 2013 polls in which Shamu emerged the victor amid accusations of voter intimidation and rigging.
He said this time around, the coalition had put stops to curb rigging by setting up teams of up to 20 youths who will camp and monitor activities at each voting centre.

The MDC Alliance candidate is confident of victory over Shamu, arguing the former Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister no longer enjoyed much support from Zanu PF following allegations that he was linked to the G40 faction fronted by former First Lady Grace Mugabe.

If elected into Parliament, the youthful politician said he would ensure that Chegutu East villagers will be recruited for employment at Ngezi Platinum while empowering communities by initiating various income-generating projects.