Some alleged war veterans in Gutu have been accused of weaponizing the ongoing national documentation blitz by barring anyone who is not aligned with Zanu-PF from accessing the documents.
The government launched a national identification mobile blitz aimed at ensuring that citizens have access to the IDs and be able to register for elections.
However, a cross-section of members in Gutu say they are being denied access to the blitz unless they show proof of being Zanu-PF members.
This was revealed during a community dialogue organised by communities working with Heal Zimbabwe in Gutu last week who accused a ZANU PF member only identified as Mudzamiri, who is also a war veteran and retired soldier of hijacking the process together with unnamed allies.
“Here in Gutu the blitz is heavily politicised. Mudzamiri has threatened the mobile Civil Registry team not to issue documents to community members until they agree to be accompanied to Matizha Business centre where they will collect the documents.
“Upon arrival at the centre, Mudzamiri then forces citizens to affirm their support for ZANU PF and forces them to register at the local Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) office. Mudzamiri is working with other war veterans in the area,” narrated one community member.
The villagers said the continued harassment is an infringement of their rights, which if left unaddressed, will jeopardize prospects for peaceful elections in 2023.
The villagers accused Mudzamiri of targeting first-time voters who are young people from nearby high schools.
Participants also highlighted that Mudzamiri has also given directives to some Village heads in the area to inform a local burial society to stop wearing branded yellow t-shirts.
According to Home Affairs Minister, Kazember Kazembe, the blitz has far benefitted more than 500 000 people who have acquired their documents.
“The civil registration blitz will continue until September while voter registration for the next election will only stop after the President declares election dates,” Kazember was quoted as saying last week.