GOKWE Violence: Chamisa motorcade attacked; journalists beaten up by suspected Zanu PF thugs

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By Staff Reporter

A MOB of suspected Zanu PF supporters armed with machetes, stones and whips attacked Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters and journalists before barring party leader Nelson Chamisa from addressing a rally in Gokwe Thursday.

Chamisa was supposed to address a rally in the Kabuyuni area ahead of this weekend’s crunch parliamentary by-election pitting CCC’s Costin Muguti against the Zanu PF party’s Spencer Tshuma.

CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said there was a high-speed chase after the armed assailants tried to block Chamisa’s convoy from approaching the rally venue.

The opposition leader was then whisked away to safety by his security team.

“At least 15 Zanu PF cars have barricaded and attacked President Nelson Chamisa’s motorcade as he approached the Gokwe Kabuyuni rally,” said Mahere on Twitter.

“The thugs are armed with machetes. The rally will proceed despite this security emergency.”

Meanwhile four journalists Tongai Mwenje, Toneo Rutsito, Pellagia Mpurwa and Chelsea Mashayamombe were beaten up and left with serious injuries.

“The journalists report that they were made to lie face down on the tarmac. Zanu PF thugs beat them up and left them severely injured,” said Mahere.

“Toneo Rutsito lost his tooth. Their car keys and cell phones were taken which has delayed them seeking badly needed medical assistance.”

Mahere condemned the violent attacks saying CCC has a right to campaign freely in the country just like any other political party.

“We condemn the violent attacks by Zanu PF on President Nelson Chamisa, journalists, and citizens. Violence is a tool of the weak,” she said.

“As we approach the Gokwe by-election, CCC has a right to campaign and assemble. Zanu PF’s violent tactics confirm they have lost popular support.”

Despite the violence, Chamisa commended supporters who defied the intimidation.

The latest violence comes after Chamisa’s convoy was reportedly attacked in Wedza, Mashonaland East Wednesday, where he intended to hold a meeting with party members.

Before that, the opposition leader’s convoy was again reportedly attacked in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe where he had made a surprise visit.

Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe is traditionally known as a Zanu PF stronghold.