With the majority of people generally resident in rural areas, Zanu-PF has developed techniques to retain that vote.
Zanu-PF has thrived on instilling fear, especially in rural voters. It is incumbent upon the opposition parties to debunk this fear if it fancies chances of winning the elections.
Fear of being beaten, murdered, tortured, targeted and displaced is what is keeping Zanu-PF in power. This is what any serious opposition party must deal with in order to win the elections. Without that, certainly Zanu-PF will retain power.
There is so much fear of Zanu-PF violence in rural areas to the extent that people prefer to vote for the clueless party for the sake of peace.
Beneficiaries of the fast-track land reform programme cannot vote freely as they are always threatened with eviction and displacement if their polling stations record an opposition victory.
It is up to the opposition parties and other pro-democracy elements to break the fear factor and counter Zanu-PF propaganda which over the past four decades has turned some rural communities into no-go areas for the opposition.
Dealing with fear and vote-buying must also include making sure traditional leaders stick to their role of being custodians of customs and culture of their respective communities and desist from dabbling in partisan politics.
If opposition parties can muster the rural vote, Zanu-PF will be finished in 2023. There is no way Zanu-PF can win the political jackpot without the rural vote. In the urban areas, they have always laboured in vain to produce positive results.
It is important for opposition leaders to make frequent visits to rural areas so that people can identify with them.
Such visits will also drive fear out of the ever-intimidated and lied to ordinary people. The voters will have confidence in them and vote for them.
Securing the rural vote must be the focus of opposition parties ahead of the 2023 elections. Every effort must be made to ensure the rural vote is secured since the 2023 ballot will be polling station-based which gives Zanu-PF the vigour to frighten everyone to vote for the rogue party.
People look forward to seeing opposition leaders in action across all rural wards as they prepare to silence Zanu-PF once and for all in the 2023 elections.
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