By A Correspondent- Opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday said people in the rural areas were living in fear due to intimidation ahead of the 2023 general elections, adding that Zimbabweans from all walks of life were in perpetual grief over the worsening socio-economic crisis in the country.
Chamisa, who met traditional leaders, the business community, villagers, students and party supporters during his stakeholders’ engagement drive in Manicaland province, said his outreach programme had enabled him to appreciate the poverty levels in the country.
His tour of Masvingo province last week was characterised by violent scenes, which saw his convoy and security aides attacked by suspected Zanu PF supporters.
He was also teargassed while attending a meeting at a private residence in Masvingo.
Zanu PF, as usual, described the alleged attacks as stage-managed ahead of the visit by the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur Alena Douhan who is currently in the country to assess the impact of sanctions.
In Manicaland, Chamisa addressed villagers in Chimanimani, Birchenough Bridge and Musikavanhu, where he said people were in grief over the worsening crisis bedevilling the country.
“We can’t have a country where everyone is complaining. Workers are crying, traditional leaders are crying, students are crying, women are crying, people in rural areas are crying and it is a difficult thing.”
“I am yet to see anyone who is happy and satisfied with the situation in the country. These are the things we are working on,” he said.
Chamisa said there was so much fear in the rural areas where villagers were being intimidated.
“Fear is the big issue, there is a lot of intimidation.
“There is also weaponisation of food aid and fertilizer. Those are the issues people are generally saying that life is now unbearable. Those are issues that are everywhere. I am telling them that we must put a fullstop to these challenges and then let us win Zimbabwe for change.”
The opposition leader, who narrowly lost the presidential race to Zanu PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa in the 2018 harmonised elections, said he was now focusing on rural areas, the ruling party’s stronghold.