A dark cloud has engulfed the Nyatsime area of Chitungwiza following the death of two senior Zanu PF officials under unclear circumstances, with one of them alleged to have been poisoned while the other succumbed to a stress-related illness after his house was recently burnt down by CCC supporters.
The two officials are former Manyame district chairperson, Cde Tina Gweshe, who is believed to have been poisoned after she attended a party last week, while the other one is Cde George Murambatsvina, the Zanu PF chairman for Nyatsime, whose house was set ablaze by CCC supporters in Nyatsime about a fortnight ago.
Cde Murambatsvina had suffered serious injuries and stress from the violent incident.
Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala and his Chitungwiza North Constituency counterpart Godfrey Sithole, have since been arrested on charges of incitement to commit violence.
Sikhala, who is also the CCC deputy national chairperson and Sithole, are accused of mobilising their party supporters to unleash violence in Nyatsime during a memorial service for Moreblessing Ali, who they claimed had been killed by a Zanu PF member, when in fact she was killed by her former lover under unclear circumstances.
Ali, who the CCC claimed was its member, was abducted outside a nightclub in Nyatsime on May 14 and her dismembered remains were discovered in a disused well at a farm in Beatrice, about 10km away from where she was taken.
The chief suspect in her murder, Pius Jamba (31) was recently arrested and is remanded in custody.
The Herald yesterday visited the area where Zanu PF supporters were mourning their two leaders.
Most of the supporters emphasised the need for peace and warned CCC members against perpetrating violence. The supporters also held a peaceful demonstration at Chibhanguza Shopping Centre where they castigated the opposition supporters including their leader Nelson Chamisa.
They were holding placards with some of the messages reading, “CCC is responsible for the death of our chairman Murambatsvina”, “Job Sikhala uri mhondi kupisa dzimba dzedu”, and “Mhondi ngadzisungwe”.
There was also a heavy police presence in a bid to ensure that law and order is maintained.
In an interview, Zanu PF Councillor for Ward 9 in Seke Constituency, Cde Masimbi Masimbi, confirmed that Cde Murambatsvina had been suffering from stress after his house was burnt down.
“After his house was burnt down by CCC hooligans, he was affected by stress and that is when he collapsed last night before we ferried him to hospital where he later passed on.
“It is however disheartening to note that this violent incident, which is against the wishes of our leader President Mnangagwa who has always been preaching the need for peace, has affected Cde Murambatsvina,” he said.
Cde Masimbi said the peaceful demonstration conducted was meant to show that the ruling party supporters do not want violence in the area.
“What I would want to urge the CCC supporters is that they should desist from violent activities. Leadership or winning elections does not come through violence but through peace as being said by our President, Cde Mnangagwa,” he said.
Cde Murambatsvina’s brother, Mr Paul Murambatsvina, said they had lost a breadwinner who was taking care of the family.
“We have lost a hardworking man and a breadwinner who was taking care of all of us. We are saddened by his death. However, I would want to thank our Government led by President Mnangagwa for assisting us during this period of mourning.
“We have been receiving foodstuffs and the Government has promised to do more,” he said.
Cde Kudzanai Kavhukatema, the youth chairperson for Manyame district, said they were still shocked by the death of Cde Murambatsvina.
“Cde Murambatsvina has not been well following the violence recently and as Zanu PF we say no to violence in this area. We want peace,” she said.
Cde Mercy Vengesai said they were now living in fear since most of the people in the area have been receiving threats from CCC supporters.
Chairperson for Chaminuka Central in Nyatsime, Cde Getrude Kwira said: “Since the violent incident, all has not been well in this area and this has led to the death of our two senior officials. Cde Murambatsvina died of stress while our former chairlady died in mysterious circumstances. She was left at her home while not feeling well and we suspect that she was poisoned.”
A war veteran, Cde Wilson Gaukau Makaudza, said they went to war to ensure peace in the country. He criticised violent acts being perpetrated by the opposition.
Cde Paradzai Mhondiwa, the youth chairman for Chaminuka Central District, said they hope the law will take its course on those arrested for perpetrating violence and that police will also arrest those that are still outstanding.
Another Zanu PF senior official in the area, Cde Simba Chisango, urged party supporters in the area to continue maintaining peace despite threats of more violence from the CCC.
Burial arrangements for Cdes Murambatsvina and Gweshe will be announced in due course.