CIVIL Society Organisations (CSOs) and opposition political parties have accused the ruling Zanu PF party of abusing State resources by transporting its supporters to rallies across the country using Zupco buses.
The party has so far bussed thousands of its supporters to campaign rallies in Magunje, Chipinge and Bulilima.
Latest reports state that approximately 700 buses and 510 trucks were commandeered to take people to Magunje for the rally addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday.
However, opposition political parties and CSOs have not been amused by the practice of bussing supporters using State resources, describing it as an abuse of the incumbency’s privilege.
Freedom Alliance spokesperson Nhlanhla Ncube said the abuse of Zupco buses by Zanu PF is worrying.
“There has been continued abuse of State resources since independence and parastatals like Zupco have collapsed,” Ncube said.
“In the same vein, it is inconceivable to see the ruling party having run down State institutions and the economy, providing truckloads of food and beverages at their rallies, while the social welfare ministry has no resources.
“What is the source of these foodstuffs? This is corruption at its worst. This conflation of party and State should end.”
Ibhetshu likaZulu coordinator Mbuso Fuzwayo said he sees no problem if the buses were hired.
“It will be unfortunate if it is for Zanu PF alone and if they are not hired by the party. It is not surprising that we have been reduced to scavengers,” Fuzwayo said.
“Self-respecting citizens don’t go to political rallies for food, but to get governance plans. But because of hunger, we go to deal with our hunger or poverty instead.”
Exiled Presidential Independent candidate Saviour Kasukuwere said Mnangagwa cannot attract voters and has instead resorted to clandestine tactics.
“ED can’t win, can’t attract voters, and has no message! He has adopted the ‘Rent A Crowd’ strategy, which is a self-delusional strategy,” Kasukuwere said.
Political analyst Effie Ncube said if the Zupco buses were commandeered and not hired on a commercial scale, that would constitute to abuse of State resources.
“But it should be stated that political parties are entitled to hire private and public buses to ferry people to their rallies. Private operators can even donate their services, if they so wanted.
“But a State transport provider like Zupco cannot donate its services to political parties. It should only come in when hired,” Ncube said
Zapu spokesperson Mso Ndlovu said one of the reasons why incumbents will not relinquish power was fear of prosecution.
“The abuse of Zupco is just a tip (of the iceberg) and nearly all State resources are involved in an incestuous relationship with Zanu PF. These buses did not pay toll fees on their way to the rally. This is not only abuse, but an act of criminality,” Ndlovu said.
Zanu PF escalated the culture of bussing people to its rallies during the late former President Robert Mugabe’s reign in 2017 when they conducted youth interface rallies across all provinces ahead of the 2018 elections before he was ousted through a coup in November of the same year.
Zanu PF national spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa’s mobile phone was not reachable when contacted for comment yesterday.
The ruling party was also criticised for abusing recently purchased government Russian helicopters for party business.
Mutsvangwa, however, said there was nothing wrong with Mnangagwa and Zanu PF using the helicopters for party programmes.
Said Mutsvangwa: “Mnangagwa is the incumbent and as the current executive of the Republic of Zimbabwe, he is constitutionally entitled to enjoy the privilege of the highest office, those helicopters included.
“For clarity, it’s common cause that the incumbent American President (Joe Biden) conducts his re-election campaign in the comfort of his Boeing Air Force One jumbo jet. Nelson Chamisa (Citizens Coalition for Change leader) should simply wait until their day in office, if ever.”
Source: News Day