Villagers forced to sign anti-Sanctions Petition

GOKWE – Zanu (PF) Member of Parliament for Gokwe Central Dorothy Mhangami with the help of war veterans and party youths on Tuesday allegedly force marched villagers to attend a rally at Gokwe Centre where she told scores of people in attendance to come in their numbers and sign a petition calling for the removal of sanctions.\r\n

This is part of a Zanu (PF) campaign to have more than a million signatures throughout the country against the targeted sanctions imposed by the West on President Robert Mugabe and his allies endorsed on a petition.

Mhangami told the villagers that they were not expecting less than 3000 signatures from her Gokwe Central constituency. The Member of Parliament issued verbal threats to the scores of people who attended the meeting urging them to bring their national identity cards on January 31, 2011 the day set aside for the signing of the petition.

She told them that all those who fail to sign will have to explain why they want the sanctions to remain.Meanwhile reports from Masvingo Province say war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda has been moving from one constituency to the other forcing people to append their signatures on the petition.

On Wednesday January 26, 2011, Sibanda was reported to be in Gutu West constituency where he held several meetings at Matizha Township, Kanongovere Primary School, and Serima Township.

Village heads already have all the names of their subjects and members of the sanctions committee are moving door-to-door forcing people to append their signatures against their names.

Early this month Zanu (PF) set up an anti-sanctions committee to be headed by Sibanda, a former Zipra cadre to carry out a national campaign where people will be coerced into signing the petition against sanctions.

The campaign is however yet to be launched at a national level according to Zanu PF national spokesperson Rugare Gumbo.

The major task of the committee would be to go around the country’s 10 provinces, holding meetings with members of the public to urge them to denounce sanctions. It is also understood that during the meetings, a petition where the members of the public would be required to “voluntarily” append their signatures would be availed.

The petition will then be handed over to the three principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) President Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and possible Welshman Ncube since he is now the leader of the MDC-N  faction after ousting Arthur Mutambara.