THE ruling Zanu PF party has been fingered in several cases of violence and abductions perpetrated against the opposition Citizens Coalitions for Change (CCC) party supporters as the country heads for the harmonised elections next month, NewsDay can reveal.
Violence cases have been recorded in several constituencies, particularly in Manicaland province.
Zanu PF has been accused of targeting CCC supporters and ordinary Zimbabweans who fail to attend its rallies.
In an interview yesterday, CCC Manicaland provincial spokesperson David Panganai said they had received several reports of violence in the province.
“We are still recording several cases and abductions in the Manicaland province. We have a case of violence against our supporter Kingstone Marekera in Dangamvura by Zanu PF supporters, that is, in Dangamvura constituency,” Panganai said.
“A police report has been made. The sad thing is the inaction by police in all situations and no arrests have been made.”
Aspiring CCC ward 22 councillor in Chimanimani West, Divas Matinyadze, also told NewsDay that a party supporter, Anna Mukumba, was last week abducted at her homestead in the constituency.
The matter was reported at Chimanimani Police Station.
“We have our supporter who was abducted last week by Zanu PF supporters at her home last week for not attending their meeting,” he said.
“She was taken to a place where there were some Zanu PF supporters and her brǝɑsts were f0ndled along the way.”
Chimanimani West ward 27 councillor Allan Mareyenadzo, said there were fireworks at a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) stakeholder meeting with political parties in Manicaland, where it emerged that some traditional leaders in Mutare West and North were not allowing opposition members to engage in political activities.
“We attended a stakeholders meeting with Zec last week in Mutare and some of our opposition party members said traditional leaders were not allowing them to contest in Mutare West and North,” he said.
However, Zanu PF information director and the party’s candidate for the Buhera West constituency, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, made counter-claims of violence in Manicaland.
“I wish to bring to your attention that CCC hooligans yesterday assaulted the Zanu PF chairman in Buhera West ward 1 called Bornface Karimanzira, who was admitted to Murambinda.
“Last week, a FAZ [Forever Associates Zimbabwe] member from ward 3 Buhera West in Gwebu was assaulted and admitted to Murambinda Hospital by CCC agents. So be careful of being manipulated to drive an agenda against real victims of violence by CCC perpetrators,” he said.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was not aware of the incidents.
Political analyst Tendai Mbofana said Zanu PF was known for instilling fear in rural communities.
“It is not surprising, Zanu PF is known for its legacy of instilling fear in rural communities, I saw it in 2002 and 2008, people were killed and they have never transformed,” he said.
“In the next coming weeks it is going to get worse, what they are doing is instilling fear in people especially in the rural community.”
Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said the CCC should report the cases to the police.
“They know the law of the land. Crimes like violence are reported to the police as the appropriate statutory authority,” Mutsvangwa said.
“They investigate and institute charges before the courts of law.
“By-passing that channel and reporting to non-competent entities will not be of much help neither to purported victims nor to the cause of justice.
“As goons of shambolic CCC party stare defeat come 23 August, they take escapist refuge in crybaby moaning and frivolous claims of being victimised.”
Mutsvangwa said the CCC was shamelessly trying to undo Zanu PF’s well-honed message of non-violence from President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zimbabweans go to the polls on August 23, where Mnangagwa will slug it out against main contenders CCC leader Nelson Chamisa and independent candidate Saviour Kasukuwere, among other presidential candidates.