1. Zimbabwe's security agencies, including the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the military, have allegedly made rural areas inaccessible to the opposition and civil society groups ahead of elections expected later this year.
2. Traditional leaders are being used to campaign for Zanu PF and facilitate the closure of their communities from opposition penetration.
3. President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been accused of vote-buying by pampering newly-installed chiefs with all-terrain vehicles and promising to improve their health cover and monthly stipends in return for votes.
The article titled ‘CIO, army seal off rural areas’ by Newsday Zimbabwe reports on allegations that Zimbabwe’s security agencies are working with traditional leaders to make rural areas inaccessible to the opposition and civil society groups ahead of elections expected later this year. The report by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) claims that the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the military have made rural constituencies “no-go zones” for opposition parties. The report also alleges that traditional leaders are being used to campaign for Zanu PF and facilitate the closure of their communities from opposition penetration.
The article provides some evidence to support these claims, including a survey conducted by ZDI and statements made by losing Zanu PF candidates who accused a shadowy group called 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. However, there is no mention of any response or denial from the government or ruling party regarding these allegations.
The article does not provide any counterarguments or perspectives from those who may disagree with these claims, which could suggest one-sided reporting. Additionally, there is no explanation as to why traditional leaders would be supporting Zanu PF over other political parties or why they would be hindering access to rural constituencies.
The article also includes promotional content regarding President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent actions towards newly-installed chiefs and uniformed forces, which could suggest partiality towards his administration.
Overall, while the article raises important concerns about potential election interference in Zimbabwe’s rural areas, it lacks balanced reporting and further evidence to support its claims.