Zimbabwe News

CIO, army seal off rural areas

ZIMBABWE’s security agencies have been accused of conniving with traditional leaders to turn rural areas into ‘no-go zones’ for the opposition ahead of elections expected later this year.

According to a survey by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the military have allegedly made rural constituencies inaccessible to the opposition and civil society groups.

“The military sector plays a hindrance role in the accessibility of rural constituencies by the opposition, non-State media and civic society who want to conduct their election-related work. Published data supports these findings by showing that the military/security sector, working in cahoots with Zanu-PF, has been involved in intimidation and violence against the opposition in a number of rural areas,” read the report.

This comes as a number of Zanu-PF heavyweights have accused a shadowy group, the Friends Association of Zimbabwe (Faz) — reportedly linked to the CIO — of heavy involvement in engineering their defeats by helping their opponents rig the party’s recent primary elections.

Faz is said to be made up of former military personnel and CIO operatives.

Another shadowy group, Heritage, linked to the army was also alleged to be in the mix, coordinating Zanu-PF’s primary elections.

Zvimba South MP Phillip Chiyangwa is one of the losing Zanu-PF candidates who exposed the operations of Faz in a letter of complaint addressed to Zanu-PF political commissar Mike Bimha.

Faz and Heritage officers have been heavily deployed in rural areas to campaign for the ruling party by reportedly intimidating and instilling fear in the rural electorate.

Source: bulawayo24

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