Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa has scoffed at his political foes for dangling free food handouts at campaign rallies as vote-buying bait.
Addressing about 200 party supporters at Manama business centre in Gwanda South on Saturday, Dabengwa said his party had premised its campaign on issues such as devolution of power which provided long-term economic empowerment.
“We will not buy votes like other parties. We will not give people grain so that they vote for us. We will sell our policies to the electorate. We stand for devolution of power,” he said.
Dabengwa said Zapu stood a greater chance of winning the forthcoming elections because it was “the oldest of them all in the country”.
“Zanu PF and (President Robert) Mugabe himself came from Zapu,” he said.
“Those who fought to liberate the country were not happy under Zanu PF’s rule because what they fought for had not been realised,” the Zapu leader said.
“The development that we wanted to have has not been realised. People are suffering,” he said.
He said because of lack of direction in leadership, people were living in dire poverty as he had seen for himself in Manama, Matabeleland South.
“That is the reason why in Zapu we want devolution of power. You must be in charge of your own resources. If that was the case, we would not see such poverty as we have seen here. Your livestock would still have grazing land. You would be able to mine here and earn a living,” he said.
“Zapu is for the people. It does not belong to anyone. It is not the late Joshua Nkomo’s party. He was also chosen by the people to lead,” he said at the rally that was punctuated by singing of revolutionary songs.
Dabengwa said in the last election, most people from Matabeleland voted MDC candidates because they did not have a wide choice.
“They said we would rather vote for a donkey than for Zanu PF,” Dabengwa said, drawing wild cheers from party supporters - Newsday.