Zanu PF’s dirty campaign strategy for the Kariba Draft

Press Release – The utterances by Robert Mugabe at the 5th ZANU PF Youth Congress that the Kariba Draft is the only acceptable guiding document in the constitution-making process is now cascading down to the grassroots as evidenced by the reports which the Youth Alliance for Democracy has obtained

The latest development saw Kudzanai Mutarangi, a Mabelreign based activist being assaulted by ZANU PF militia for putting on a Crisis Coalition ”Say no to Kariba Draft” T-shirt at Greencroft shopping centre on Saturday at around 9pm. This resulted in his T-shit being torn and him being forced to wear a green ZANU PF T-shirt written: ‘youths in defence of national sovereignty and economic empowerment.’

This act was carried out by thugs who dropped from a white Nissan hardbody truck labelled ZANU PF Mashonaland Central who accused Kudzanai of supporting a regime change agenda.

In Mberengwa it has also been reported that bases have been established where all night vigils are being hosted to ‘conscentise’ people about Kariba Draft as the sole document to be used as reference in constitution making. This has since spread to other areas which include Wedza and Shamva.

In Mutoko the scenario is even worse as people are told that the Global Political Agreement is only relevant to Harare and it does not apply in the said area.The same is also prevailing in Uzumba and Marambapfungwe, the traditional ZANU PF strongholds

In Mt Darwin it has come to our attention that Hon Saviour Kasukuwere told people at a rally that “we united with MDC for the sole purpose of persuading them to remove sanctions which they brought.” He reiterated that they are still enemies, and no-one should listen to them. This allows ZANU PF to determine the pace and outcome on the constitution making process in such areas.

The state media is also openly campaigning for the Kariba Draft. The ZTV programmes Media Watch, Melting Pot and Newshour are dominated by ZANU PF apologists who include Dr Maxwell Hove, Tafataona Mahoso and Chris Mutsvangwa, all in defence of the Kariba Draft as the only “reputable” reference. The print media is also carrying out the same task. This allows manipulation of the generality of Zimbabweans by individuals who are protecting their power. Given the fact that the stated form of media has the widest coverage it greatly influences the outcome of the process.

Another strategy which has been made use of by the former ruling party is to put MDC leadership in defensive positions so that they can be preoccupied by defending themselves at the expense of critical issues like the constitution making process. The persistent attacks on Prime-Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Finance minister Hon Biti, who are also at the helm of MDC party is deliberately and strategically orchestrated to divert their attention from real issues. At the same time an impression to the effect that ZANU PF is the best party is being created to unsuspecting, ordinary Zimbabweans and as Youth Alliance for Democracy we are worried as this will further compromise the will of people of Zimbabwe in a fashion akin to the formation of the inclusive government.

We take this opportunity to emphasise the need for massive alternative media advocacy and simlilar initiatives in the wake of the stated anomarlies. We reiterate our position that engagement is always better than disengagement. (Youth Alliance for Democracy)