... two ZimPF election agents assaulted
MASVINGO - Zanu PF's threats to unleash violence in the forthcoming Bikita West by-election against all opposition supporters and sympathisers became real on Tuesday after two Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) election agents were assaulted by Zanu PF youths who claimed the agents had provoked them by showing up at their meeting.
Struggle Nyahunda and Gurwe Tsvuru showed up at a Zanu PF meeting at Hozvi Primary School in Ward 10 where national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Gutu south legislator Paul Chimedza were drumming up support for their candidate Beauty Chabaya.
ZimPF claims the meeting had been called for the distribution of agricultural inputs by chiefs which Zanu PF reportedly hi-jacked.
Nyahunda told TellZim News they did not know Zanu PF had hi-jacked the gathering to canvass for votes.
"When the agricultural input programme was launched, it was made clear that the chiefs will do the distribution. Here in Bikita, Zanu PF has hijacked the programme which they now use as a campaign tool.
"Zanu PF knows they have no support hence they are using the maize seeds as a leverage to lure people to their rallies. We only heard there was seed distribution at Hozvi school and we showed up only to be victimised by Zanu PF youths," said Nyahunda.
ZimPF national spokesperson Jealous Mawarire condemned the assault and called on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to come out and condemn such barbaric actions.
"Our agents had attended a meeting called by Chief Mukanganwi where villagers were to be given maize seed. The meeting was later hijacked and addressed by Kasukuwere who was in the area.
"We are told that when Kasukuwere arrived, the Zanu PF chairman in that ward ordered the assault on Nyahunda and Gurwe. This thuggish behaviour by Zanu PF is what we all right thinking Zimbabweans want to put an end to.
"It also brings to the fore the need for ZEC to be given powers to disqualify political parties from any electoral contest if they show a violent predisposition," said Mawarire.
He added that the police should be professional and arrest all the culprits including Kasukuwere who has made it clear that he is a political thug.
"We have come up with strategies to make sure that this will not happen again. I cannot tell you because they would seize to be strategies if Zanu PF gets to know them. I assure you we have people on the ground who will make sure such incidences will not occur to anyone again," said Mawarire.
Zanu PF Masvingo provincial youth boss Nobert Ndaarombe said he was not aware of any acts of violence by his party.
"I was in the constituency in ward 22b campaigning and I have not received any reports of violence perpetrated by our people," said Ndaarombe.news