Chikomba – Businessmen around Chikomba have complained that they were recently forced to close shops and attend a World Diabetes Day rally addressed by the Minister of Health and Child Care, Constantino Chiwenga.
The event which was held at Garwe Stadium in Chivhu on November 14, was turned into a Zanu PF rally with party music blaring and President Mnangagwa’s history and wartime exploits being read out to the crowd.
Hundreds brought to the commemorations in school busses and lorries were dressed in party regalia.
The business community complained that one Zanu PF activist Ben Madhuveko and his team went around all business centres in Chivhu urban forcing people to close their shops and go to Garwe Stadium for Chiwengwa’s speech.
Those who tried to defy the order were threatened with the withdrawal of their licences.
A business woman who runs a grocery shop at Charuma Business Centre who declined to be named for fear of victimization said she was forced to close her shop.
“They told me to close my shop and attend the rally or lose my licence. The shop was only going to be opened after the rally,” she said.
Another businessman Passmore Muguta registered his discontentment over the issue.
“It is really sad, they forced us to close our shops and attend the rally. I do not see the logic of forcing us to close shops,” said Muguta.
Chivhu Business Community secretary, Edwick Nhema condemned the move by ZANU PF as unethical.
Madhuveko said he could not comment on the issue because his wife is not feeling well.
“I am going through hard times, I cannot comment on such trivial issues. I am in hospital now my wife is not feeling well,” said Madhuveko.
ZANU PF Mash East Provincial chairman Michael Madanha made the opening speech at an event that was supposed to belong to the Ministry of Health.
Many wondered how President Mnangagwa’s profile fit into World Diabetes Day Commemorations.
Chiwenga opened his speech by making Zanu PF slogans.
“We thought this is a national event but it has somehow become a political rally. No, we cannot stay for this,” said one of the people at the commemorations.