By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
VIOLENT clashes, pitting Zanu PF and MDC Alliance activists, left scores of people injured after ruling party supporters attempted to block opposition leader Nelson Chamisa from meeting villagers in Zvimba, Mashonaland West province.
Chamisa was in Zvimba West winding up his three-day bloody whirlwind “Meet The People Tour” of the province.
He has been to Manicaland and Masvingo provinces where bloody skirmishes between Zanu PF and MDC Alliance supporters have also been recorded.
In Zvimba West Friday, several MDC Alliance supporters were reportedly injured after they were attacked by known Zanu PF functionaries.
Among the injured was 75-year-old Morgan Machingura, who was seriously injured on the face.
MDC Alliance Mashonaland West province spokesperson, Blessing Mandava confirmed the incident.
He said: “Zanu PF has proved once again that it is a cult of blood-thirsty vampires who always seek to spill blood at every whim and turn.
“In a bid to shut out MDC Alliance president Chamisa from accessing former Zanu PF strongholds, they hired and bused militia to Zvimba West where our president was set to commiserate with the family of one of our staunch members who is unwell after losing his daughter, mother, and brother within a space of three weeks.”
Mandava said the rowdy Zanu PF youths barricaded roads leading to the MDC Alliance member’s house with rocks.
The assailants, he added, were bused in by one Leeroy Nyamukanga.
Lovemore Gumbochuma, a 2008 independent parliamentary candidate who is also a retired British Army soldier, allegedly sponsored the attackers.
Added Mandava: “The visibly intoxicated youths ganged up and attacked our members with stones and fired catapults without any provocation whatsoever.
“The militia stole a tent which had been pitched at the venue. They also destroyed the roof and eleven window panes of a four-roomed house, while four villagers who had also attended to pay their condolences were seriously injured.”
The same gang had earlier camped at Zuva Petroleum at Murombedzi business centre where they planned to waylay Chamisa’s motorcade.
The Zanu PF youths also allegedly abducted Zvimba South constituency MDC Alliance treasurer, Maria Wemba, assaulted and stripped her naked, before leaving her for dead.
She was reportedly rushed to hospital by some Good Samaritans.
“We would like to salute all our members who defended fellow member’s property, family, and elderly villagers from this marauding Zanu PF militia which was baying for blood,” said Mandava.
However, Zanu PF provincial secretary for security, Tommy Mwanza dismissed in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the governing party had deployed its members to commit acts of violence.
“Zanu PF is a peaceful and experienced political party which cannot be naive to that extent. MDC Alliance was seeking sympathy from the United Nations special rapporteur (Alena Douhan) and was stage-managing violence against its leader,” said Mwanza.
Zanu PF youth commissar, Tapiwa Chitate also disowned party youths that participated in the alleged Friday attacks.