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Zanu-PF targets civil servants

by Staff reporter
27 Oct 2022 at 06:19hrs | Views
Zanu-PF appears to be going for broke ahead of the 2023 general elections and has reportedly targeted civil servants, including members of the security forces to support President Emmerson Mnangagwa's re-election bid.

While the Constitution stipulates that security service members must be apolitical, NewsDay is reliably informed that Zanu-PF has deployed its officials to rural police and prison camps to sell party membership cards to officers.

This has riled some officials, who said they were being forced to buy the membership cards.

The ruling party has reportedly formed yet another grouping, Civil Servants TrustED which is drawing its membership from the civil service including soldiers, police officers and prison officers.

It recently launched Teachers for Economic Development (ED) and Health Ambassadors for ED.

"Selling and buying membership cards is currently underway at this station (name withheld)," said a senior police officer, whose name cannot be revealed to protect him from possible victimisation.

In an interview with NewsDay, secretary-general of the Civil Servants TrustED, Duku Chigumira said they were targeting all civil servants including soldiers and police.

"Ours is an umbrella body that seeks to incorporate the rest of the civil servants who are not represented," Chigumira said.

"We are drawing our membership from Agritex workers, police, soldiers, prison officers and all those who work in government departments. We are supporting President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Vision 2030.

"We are government workers and the highest-ranking civil servant is the President, so we have to support him. We have launched Civil Servants TrustED in eight provinces save for two Matabeleland provinces where we have had communication problems."

Documents seen by NewsDay show that Zanu-PF has been hosting the Civil Servants TrustED meetings in some provinces.

In a letter dated October 18, 2022, addressed to the ZRP Officer Commanding Mutare, Chogumira requested permission to launch the organisation in the province at a ceremony to be held at the Zanu-PF offices.

"We are writing to your good office on behalf of civil servants TrustED.

"The Civil Servants TrustED is a new organisation that seeks to mobilise civil servants from various departments to support the vision of the President (Vision 2030). At this stage, we now want to set up our provincial executive."

Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he had not received reports of police officers being ordered to buy Zanu-PF membership cards.

"That issue of police alleging that they are being forced to put on Zanu-PF regalia or buy membership cards has not been brought to the office of the commissioner-general. However, we will carry out investigations on the matter," Nyathi said.

On Civil Servants TrustED seeking police membership, Nyathi said: "Police's major role is to maintain law and order and promote peace in the country.

"However, all organisations that seek or claim to work with the police should do so with the knowledge of the command office. Such organisations should notify the commissioner-general first."

Zanu-PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said: "Civil servants cannot be party members, but can be affiliates."

Zimbabwe National Army spokesperson, Colonel Alphios Makotore requested questions in writing but had not responded at the time of going to print.

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe