Rural areas battle ground as Zanu PF tussles with CCC,  Mohadi courts chiefs

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By Darlington Gatsi

Zanu PF is pinning its hopes on rural areas as it eyes power retention in this year’s general elections setting a tug of war with main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) for the village electorate.

Zanu PF has in previous elections maintained grip on rural areas which have been credited for the party’s long stay in power.

Addressing media at the party’s headquarters Thursday Christopher Mutsvangwa said Zanu PF looks to maintain rural areas as its backbone.

“We are now making all the preparations for voter registration as a party. We are very confident that the rural vote will carry us through since the majority of people live in rural areas.

“They were the backbone of Zimbabwe’s revolution, they have been the backbone of the party’s support. We believe that we can carry out a successful voter registration,” said Mutsvangwa.

This comes as the party’s vice president Kembo Mohadi is reportedly engaging village chiefs to drum up support.

Chiefs have been accused of participating in politics by observers, swaying votes for Zanu PF in villages under their purview.

Zanu PF has also been involved in voter registration campaigns in rural areas with motor vehicles of companies belonging to its influential members being used to ferry people to registration centers.

This sets a tussle for the rural areas as CCC through its Mugwazo campaign led by Happymore Chidziva has aimed at claiming votes from villages.

Rural areas have been the opposition’s Achilles heel in its quest to unseat Zanu PF from power.

Mutsvangwa said “distribution of inputs” is testament to the party’s footprint in rural areas.

“If we consider that 60% to 70% of the Zimbabwean population is rural. If we work very hard with rural constituencies we are assured of more seats in both senate and house of assembly.

“We are determined to hold on to that vote. If you see the distribution of inputs we are doing. If you see the support which we are giving Agritex officials because the most important thing for the rural population is food security and we are delivering on that,” said Mutsvangwa.