The Zimbabwe Republic Police have launched investigations into the death of two senior Zanu PF officials in Nyatsime area of Chitungwiza with one of them alleged to have been poisoned, while the other reportedly succumbed to a stress-related illness after his house was recently burnt down by CCC supporters rampaging after the murder of a woman by a violent ex-boyfriend, now in custody.
The two officials are former Manyame district chairperson Cde Tina Gweshe, who is suspected by family to have been poisoned after she attended a party last week, and 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 suffered serious injuries and stress from the violent attack.
In an interview yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police have begun the investigations over the deaths of the two Zanu PF officials, but now needed the results of the post mortems to ascertain the causes of the deaths.
“We are conducting investigations with a view to find out what exactly happened and we would like to urge the public to cooperate with the police,” he said.
On the heavy police presence, Asst Comm Nyathi said, “There is need for police to maintain law and order especially considering what has happened and the investigations being conducted.”
The Herald yesterday visited the area where Zanu PF supporters were still mourning their two leaders.
Senior party officials also visited the area where they handed over food and goods to the bereaved families.
Seke Constituency legislator Cde Munyaradzi Kashambe also reiterated the need for peace and applauded police for ensuring that there is order in the area. Cde Kashambe said he was saddened that after the CCC supporters had unleashed violence, they then lost one of their hard working senior party members.
“A few days ago we also lost another comrade, Cde Gweshe who was also known as ‘Greenhouse’. As a party we have, however, then decided to donate food to the two families.
“I would also want applaud the unity that has been displayed between the party supporters in both the province and also at national level during this period. I would also want to thank you for maintaining peace. Even our President, Cde ED Mnangagwa, has always emphasised the need for maintaining peace as we head towards the 2023 elections,” he said.
Mashonaland East Zanu PF provincial vice chairman Cde Kudzai Majuru said Zanu PF was a peaceful party and it was his hope that the law will take it’s course. Cde Majuru said they had decided to assist the two families with maize meal, rice, cooking oil, flour, salt and various groceries.
“As Zanu PF we are a peaceful party and we have allowed the law to take it’s course. Following the loss of our two officials, as Zanu PF we have decided to assist with some groceries and cash for the bereaved families. We will continue to assist them and even the families left behind,” he said.
Cde Murambatsvina is expected to be buried in his rural home in Gutu and Cde Gweshe at Zororo cemetery.
Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala and his Chitungwiza North legislator Godfrey Sithole, have since been arrested on charges of incitement to commit violence after the violence by CCC supporters in Nyatsime, remarks they are alleged to have made before that violence and allegations of involvement in assembling supporters.
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.
Ali, who the CCC said was a supporter, 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 arrested five days later and is remanded in custody.
On Sunday, Zanu supporters also held a demonstration at Chibhanguza Shopping Centre where they castigated the opposition supporters including Sikhala and CCC leader Nelson Chamisa.