By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been forced to step up and personally intervene in the deadly factional rowing pitting senior Zanu PF officials after Home Affairs minister and current party provincial chair Kazembe Kazembe allegedly ordered the deployment of police officers Sunday to beat up a whole village in Musana Communal Lands, NewZimbabwe.com can exclusively report.
Sources from the province told NewZimbabwe.com that a delegation from the volatile province was met with Mnangagwa at State House in Harare Monday to brief him of the particular incident and other cases of violence and intimidation rocking the province since the ongoing restructuring exercise kicked off a three months ago.
Kazembe is battling to retain the chairmanship amid fierce completion from a rival camp which until recently was fronted by former Education minister Lazarus Dokora.
Dokora opted out of the race after he was subjected to harassment allegedly by Kazembe’s men, including an assassination attempt.
A dark horse only described by sources as “very formidable” has since been lined up to face him.
“The Mashonaland Central Zanu PF leadership descended to Mupandira Business Centre in Musana on a fact-finding mission after party officials were beaten by police officers at the instruction of Kazembe. The area is believed to be a stronghold for his opponents, and he is taking no prisoners,” a source said.
Sources further said villagers were savagely beaten and arrested.
The official version given was that it was in retaliation to the beating of a police officer there earlier, but sources indicated that this was only used as an excuse to disrupt party members who were conducting district elections.
“Armed police officers came from Bindura with three unmarked vehicles. They also had vicious dogs. They then started beating everyone, including Zanu PF officials who were conducting district elections nearby. They were tearing Zanu PF regalia. Party members were handcuffed and beaten by police officers and had dogs set on them while in handcuffs,” a party official said.
“After that, they entered into a nearby village and started beating people indiscriminately. This was clearly done to make it appear as if they were not targeting party officials. They seized people’s axes and other home tool,” the official said.
After the situation went awry, sources further said, Kazembe visited the area in a haste and ordered the immediate release of those arrested and that charges against them be withdrawn.
“In his speech (during the fact-finding mission), cde Kazembe claimed he did not sanction the operation and neither did the Mashonaland Central police leaders. He said he had tasked deputy police commissioner general Learn Ncubein investigate the case. He also said 10 party officials who were arrested the skirmishes should have charges against them dropped. So the charges will be withdrawn tomorrow (Monday, October 11),” a source who was present at the event said.
“Six people were then selected by Cde Kazembe to go and testify the H.E the President Cde E.D Mnangagwa at state house tomorrow (October 11, 2021). The names of the six are: Lovemore Chidziwo, Gideon Mirisawo, Itai Rungasai, Tichaona Kahari, Wisdom Mhembero and Evelyn Chinhema. Politburo member (Kenneth) Musanhi donated humpers to the victims. Investigations are still underway to ascertain what really transpired as reports say some plain clothed police officers and other people were seen in the area before the violent attacks,” the source said.
Kazembe has been accused of abusing his Home Affairs ministerial powers to harass and intimidate opponents in a bid to retain his chairmanship.
Efforts to get a comment from him were fruitless as his mobile number was not reachable.
The outcome of the six’s meeting with Mnangagwa is yet to be known but NewZimbabwe.com is keeping track of developments.