Zvimba West legislator, Ziyambi Ziyambi has allegedly shut out opposition parties from accessing Zvimba district ahead of the forthcoming elections following his instruction to council that all the open spaces were fully booked by Zanu PF, 263Chat can reveal.
In a letter to Zvimba Rural District Council, Ziyambi told instructed council to notify any political party that intend to hold a meeting in Zvimba that all the open spaces were fully booked by Zanu PF until after the 2018 elections.
According to Build Zimbabwe Alliance (BZA), they were barred from holding their planned rally at Murombedzi Growth Point on Ziyambi’s directive.
“Please be advised that all open spaces in Zvimba Rural District Council are fully booked till the end of August 2018.
“No political party should be allowed to hold any campaign rally or gathering as all spaces are fully booked every single day,” reads part of the letter signed by Ziyambi.
BZA President, Dr Noah Manyika said Zanu PF and Ziyambi were scared of defeat in the forthcoming elections.
“Once Justice Minister Ziyambi, the MP for the area found out that our party had secured a police clearance and a venue for our rally, he gave instructions to the council in Murombedzi that no other party could hold a rally at the Growth Point because Zanu PF had booked every venue every day until August.
“Zanu PF calculation is simple: keep the opposition out of the rural areas where 70% of the voters are.
“They are counting on their rural voter intimidation machinery not being challenged or exposed by the opposition,” said Manyika.
One of Manyika’s campaign team member told 263Chat that they were barred from holding their planned rally despite having a police clearance.
“Council told us that we can’t do any meetings because we did not have clearance from the council.
We asked how we could get it and they demanded a letter though we had earlier submitted two letters to the same council which they were with-holding. We demanded that they use those letters to which they asked us to come back after lunch.
“When we came back after lunch, they demanded a new letter but we had evidence of the ones we had submitted before. We produced scanned copies and that is when they pulled a file with our previous letters, raising new issues including Ziyambi’s instruction that all open spaces in Murombedzi were fully booked till the end of August,” he said.
He added that they were told that Zanu PF had booked all venues hence opposition parties could not hold meetings.
“We were told that we can’t do any meetings in Zvimba till end of August because they were fully booked. We asked if this was the government measure to which they showed us the letter was signed by Ziyambi Ziyambi,” added the BZA member.
Reached for a comment, Peter Hlola from Zvimba Rural District Council said denied ever imposing a ban on opposition rallies saying they have no power to bar anyone from using any open space in Zvimba.
Ziyambi was not readily available for a comment as his mobile phone went unanswered.