Traditional leaders from Wedza in Mashonaland East today told Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front is instilling fear into the villagers by reminding them of the violence of 2008 which reversed Tsvangirai’s election victory in March to an overwhelming victory for President Robert Mugabe in June.
Tsvangirai is in Mashonaland East as part of his country-wide meet-the-people tour which has already taken him to Matebeleland, the Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland.
He beat Mugabe in the presidential elections of March 2008 but the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said he did not win enough votes for an outright victory necessitating a run-off from which Tsvangirai later pulled out because of the violence that was unleashed by ZANU-PF.
More than 180 people were killed in the run-up to the June elections.
The traditional leaders said because of their previous experience they did not trust the biometric voter registration which the ZEC intends to introduce to curb voter fraud because they believe ZANU-PF will use the fingerprints to intimidate villagers as it will know who they would have voted for.
Zimbabwe opposition parties have complained that ZANU-PF is trying to manipulate the voters roll by financing the BVR when the government had all along said it did not have money for the exercise and asked for assistance from the United National Development Programme.
The government now says it has the $17 million required but claims it will not be involved in the registration exercise.
Tsvangirai will be visiting Murehwa and Mutoko tomorrow.
Continued next page