Bindura- According to local media reports there has been a clear indication that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces [ZDF] could be stakeholders in elections due to be held in three weeks’ time was recorded on camera at a Zanu PF rally on Saturday.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s continued his election campaign in Bindura, Mashonaland Central for a rally where he preached‚ “We won’t return farms to whites” – a message similar to that of his predecessor‚ Robert Mugabe.
But soldiers were not impressed when people started walking out during the president’s address.
Video footage has gone viral on social media, it shows more than five soldiers in full military gear carrying assault rifles. As the crowd left, the soldiers tried to block the charging crowd away from the rally venue like animals running away from a predator in the wild, the scenes were chaotic.
In the video recording one of the soldiers drops something which has been identified as being a firearm magazine.
Chaotic scenes @edmnangagwa rally in Bindura. Scores of people who were frogmarched to the @ZANUPF_Official rally now having running battles with soldiers trying to forcefullystop them from leaving the stadium.All this happening infront of @eueomzimbabwe 2018 Vote @nelsonchamisa pic.twitter.com/3y04lRpStS
— Chalton Hwende (@hwende) July 7, 2018
Mnangagwa has been accused by the opposition of using uniformed forces to gain an electoral advantage.
The opposition has claimed that at least 5‚000 out-of-uniform soldiers have been deployed countrywide since December last year, but such claims are unconfirmed. It alleged that their role is to manage voters at cell level in mostly rural areas.
More accusations from the opposition say that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) employs serving members of the security forces‚ but the ZEC has flatly denied this.
On Friday another rally where goers also walked out on Mnangagwa’s address in Gokwe. Victor Matemadanda‚ Zanu PF’s National Assembly candidate for the area‚ told journalists that someone had sent a mischievous message that had resulted in the mass walkout.
He said, “As the President was addressing the people‚ some truck drivers started to spread messages that they were leaving the rally.”
Photo Credit- File photo