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Zimbabwe Ruling Party Militia Demand Cash For Mugabe Victory Fetes

Members of the militia controlled by the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe have been pressuring citizens to fund celebrations of Mr. Mugabe's election in the June 27 run-off election that was internationally condemned as illegitimate, according to sources in several provinces around the country.

Sources in Gokwe, Midlands province, said ZANU-PF militia and war veterans have been pressuring residents to donate Z$300 billion (US$4) apiece and livestock for a celebration of President Mugabe’s victory in the run-off in which he was the only active candidate.

Opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew on June 22 over political violence that had claimed the lives of about 100 members of his Movement for Democratic Change.

Sources said villagers in Matabeleland are being forced to donate Z$200 billion in cash and five kilograms of maize meal for ward-based victory celebrations. Rural teachers are called upon to donate Z$200 billion although they only earn around Z$150 billion a month.

Sources in Mashonaland East province said villagers there are also being forced to contribute in cash and kind toward local celebrations.

Gokwe resident and MDC activist Jonah Muzira told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that those who do not raise the Z$300 billion demanded by the militia are being threatened with eviction from their homes.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...