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Zanu PF Top Official Denies Issuing Death Threats Against Opposition


BY JAMES MUONWA

ZANU PF Mhondoro-Ngezi senior official, Ephraim Chengeta has rubbished allegations that he is threatening to behead opposition MDC activists in the area for attempting to dislodge him from power.

Chengeta is long-serving Mhondoro-Ngezi Rural District Council (MNRDC) chairman and Ward 5 councillor.

He is also Zanu PF central committee member, and former acting Mashonaland West chairperson.

Responding to a press statement issued by MDC Alliance yesterday alleging that he was intimidating opposition supporters, Chengeta said he, and Zanu PF, had no reason to use death threats or violence to endear with the electorate.

He said the massive developmental projects being undertaken by President Emmerson Mnangagwa's 'Second Republic' were enough to lure voters to choose Zanu PF candidates in the forthcoming 2023 harmonised elections.

Chengeta denied ever issuing death threats or using any other intimidatory tactics in his ward.

"I am actually surprised to hear of those unfounded allegations. I have never regarded violence as a tool to convince people to vote for me.

"Chengeta is a seasoned politician, peace-loving and law abiding citizen who works for total development of the country as a whole, and Mhondoro-Ngezi in particular complementing President Mnangagwa's efforts to improve people's livelihoods," Chengeta told NewsAnchor.

"I have championed various developmental projects that include building of clinics, schools, rehabilitation of roads and drilling of boreholes, all-too-important projects that benefit everyone, including MDC supporters who can testify themselves the good work that l am doing as council chairperson."

He added, "These allegations are stemming from my detractors trying to whittle down my popularity, even among opposition members, by embarking on a smear campaign. The 2023 elections are fast approaching and l will continue to forge ahead with projects to uplift the electorate, which is going to be my only trump card and not issuing threats of violence."

Chengeta described those peddling the "I will cut off your heads" narrative as bereft of political strategy which is a indictment they have reached their wits-end.

"These liars have realised that my support base is solid and it is tough ground to penetrate, hence they now lack strategy as people who nolonger can think of any other better tactics to lure voters."

On Monday, MDC Alliance Mashonaland West provincial spokesperson, Blessing Mandava issued a scathing attack at Chengeta for allegedly threatening villagers in Mhondoro-Ngezi.

Said Mandava, "MDC Alliance would like to register displeasure in regard to the intimidation of our members in Mhondoro-Ngezi by the Zanu PF Ward 5 councillor and Zanu PF central committee member,  Councillor Ephraim Chengeta, who is threatening to cut off heads of pro-MDC Alliance Nelson Chamisa members, supporters and sympathisers. 

"He has been calling villagers using +263 712 324 208 threatening a blood bath before and after the elections. Zanu PF is in panic mode as it is losing grip of the rural electorate after its empirical lies and deceptive nature has been laid bare."

Added Mandava, "He is using the intimidation card to silence discerning voices and quell the ever growing wave of change spreading across the nation. For the record, we are not scared of bullies and their pranks."

The era of iron-fisted leaders is now history, Mandava said in the statement.


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