Gold Panning licenses, food aid for Votes

Politicians are allegedly using gold panning licenses and food aid in Zhombe to garner support ahead of possible elections which ZANU PF wants held this year. To compound the situation, traditional leaders, who are responsible for the welfare of their communities and are the custodians of the natural resources under their jurisdiction are deliberately working with ZANU PF to sideline supporters and perceived sympathizers of the opposition thereby condemning them to poverty and starvation. This was revealed at a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition community meeting convened on the 17th of March 2012 at Zororo Business Centre in Zhombe. The meeting was attended by 127 people (76 males and 51 females).

Participants raised the following key issues;

  • People have lost track of and faith in the constitution making process

  • The people in Zhombe are not ready for elections owing to the traumatic experiences of the 2008 election which continue to haunt victims of violence. Calling for another election will result in widespread apathy.

  • The murder and protected struggle for a decent burial by Moses Chokuda and his family is a lesson for would be perpetrators of violence in the forthcoming elections.

  • Infighting, positioning and jostling for candidacy in the next election has to be monitored closely. There are indications that intra-party violence within the major political parties has reached alarming levels especially in the Zhombe area.

Gold panning despite being illegal has been institutionalized by ZANU PF operatives under one "Mudha" who is using the trade for patronage purposes. Many young people have left the rural areas for the urban areas where they are issued with gold panning licenses at the ZANU PF headquarters.

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