Army Major buys votes with cabbages

MUTARE – A Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) soldier implicated in the notorious 2008 election violence in Chimanimani West constituency has launched his political campaign by dishing out free cabbages to villagers.

Major Charles Muresherwa, who has been at the centre of most of the political violence in the district that saw scores of MDC supporters being tortured and assaulted, is aspiring to represent Zanu (PF). According to the villagers, some of the cabbages are being forcibly taken from the few white commercial farmers who have remained in this once prime commercial farming area.

“Some people are not ashamed. After all the suffering which we endured at the hands of Muresherwa, he has the gall to try and buy our votes with cabbages. Everyone in the village has cabbages and some of them are grown to feed pigs.  This is an insult,” said a villager who refused to be named for fear of victimization.

Last week officials from a German-based aid organization, Germany Agro Action, were forced to suspend the distribution of farming inputs in Biriwiri area after Muresherwa and Zanu (PF) youths attempted to hijack the farming inputs distribution programme.

“Muresherwa and his youths come to a Germany Agro Action farming inputs distributing point and demanded to take charge of the process. The officials simply suspended the distribution, leaving Muresherwa and his Zanu (PF) distributing his cabbages,” said another villager.

During the run-up to the harmonized elections Muresherwa coordinated a paramilitary operation in the area which saw scores of MDC supporters being tortured and severely assaulted at the numerous torture bases which he set.

One such base was at the disused Manicaland Development Offices (MDA) where one MDC supporter was confirmed killed. Muresherwa also shot and injured an MDC activist in the area. Lynnet Karenyi of the MDC-T is the incumbent Member of Parliament. – The Zimbabwean