OUTSPOKEN Zanu PF legislator (Buhera South) and former war veterans leader, Joseph Chinotimba, has been accused of unleashing party youths to intimidate and beat up war veterans perceived as having decampaigned him in the July 30 harmonised elections, NewsDay has heard.
Local war veterans chairperson Nelson Mahamba told NewsDay yesterday that most former fighters suspected to have backed losing independent candidate Ngonidzashe Mudekunye were now in trouble with Chinotimba’s militia.
Mahamba said the party youths chased away Mudekunye’s supporters from the Heroes’ Day commemorations held in the district last week.
“It’s very unfortunate that comrade Joseph Chinotimba wants to take the law into his own hands. How can he chase away war veterans from Heroes’ Day celebrations? He incited some youths to beat us,” Mahamba said.
“I condemn his actions in the strongest terms, he is inciting some Zanu PF youths to beat people perceived to be Mudekunye’s supporters.
“Chinotimba narrowly defeated Mudekunye who reportedly had support from some local chiefs,” he said.
Buhera district war veterans’ political commissar Moffart Gondowe also expressed concern over Chinotimba’s alleged bullying tactics.
“At the Heroes’ Day celebrations at Murambi River, Chinotimba took to the podium and said that those who did not support him during the harmonised elections should just leave the shrine,” he said.
“He incited some of the youths and they came in their numbers, almost 20, and I had to flee our district’s heroes commemorations. Unfortunately, one of the comrades was beaten by the marauding youths,” he said.
Although Chinotimba denied allegations of setting party militias against his rivals, he, however, confirmed the divisions in the Zanu PF district structures.
“Mahamba is the best person (sic) over the matter because he is the chairman for Buhera, but I am trying to find out. I don’t know what you are saying (sic) but there are some war veterans who were campaigning for an independent candidate, the heroes’ celebrations is for the nation, not only for war veterans, there is no violence in Buhera South,” he said.