By Leopold Munhende, Chief Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s former State security minister, Owen Ncube, has been fingered in a gory plan to unleash a reign of terror in Gokwe-Kabuyuni and Gokwe-Kana constituencies targeting opposition supporters and their benefactors.
This, however, is despite Zanu PF’s resounding victory in the by-election held in Gokwe-Kabuyuni, recently.
According to villagers who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com and screenshots taken from a Zanu PF constituency group, opposition supporters are targeted for challenging its dominance in the rural area, which has largely been their stronghold.
Ncube is reportedly cajoling Zanu PF supporters to punish Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rivals, who managed 4 800 votes against the 10 727 amassed by winning candidate, Spencer Tshuma.
“Ncube has directed Zanu PF supporters to hunt for the 4 800 who voted for CCC candidate Costin Muguti and all those who supported his campaign locally,” said a villager, who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation.
“We do not know how they are going to do that, but we hear they have a list of people they are targeting. I am sure this is the beginning of violent attacks on opposition supporters and those who will be unfortunate or suspected of supporting the CCC.
“This is very scary because if two teams are expected to compete then the other starts stopping the other from entering the field of play, it raises fear.”
Another villager claimed those deployed to ‘flush them out’ were not afraid of the wrath of avenging spirits, as happened in the case of slain MDC-T supporter Moses Chokuda in 2008.
“Already a lot of people in Gokwe are traumatised by what they witnessed in 2002, 2003 and 2008. Zanu PF supporters have already begun to threaten people, saying they will beat them or burn their homes,” said the villager.
“They do not fear a repeat of what happened in 2008, in the case of Chokuda because we hear some of those tormenting us are artisanal miners and touts, who do not fear spilling human blood as they are now used to it.”
Chokuda, who was killed at the height of the 2008 politically motivated violence, was said to have tormented his killers, one of whom was son to then Midlands provincial governor, Jason Machaya, right up till 2012 when he was buried.
The opposition supporter’s body could not be moved for two years, seven months before Machaya was forced to compensate the Chokuda family 70 cattle and US$15 000 for the murder committed by his son Farai and his two friends Edmore and Bothwell Gana.
Ncube refused to comment on the matter.
“I do not talk to journalists,” Ncube told NewZimbabwe.com before cutting the call.
The Gokwe election was held days after violent attacks on the CCC and its president Nelson Chamisa, who sought to speak at a scheduled rally in the same constituency.
CCC supporters and journalists covering the event were beaten while Chamisa had to be shielded away from alleged ruling party youths baying for his blood.
“Which are the main areas dominated by CCC? Who are their ring leaders, list them. Are there any members from town in your area who are giving assistance to CCC? Do they have a car? If so, where do they park during the night?
“Who is sponsoring CCC in your home area? Does he have a shop? Who is the aspiring candidate for CCC as a councillor or MP?” read some of the messages alleged to have been sent by Ncube.
Posting in another WhatsApp group, Zanu PF supporter Godwin Nkatha, urged other members to weed out opposition supporters and “teach them the Zanu PF way.”
“4 000 is too much for CCC, those people who voted for Chamisa must be identified and vadzidziswe gwara remusangano (they need indoctrination on the party line).
“Those three places might be cancerous to other places. They need to be grouped starting now and be taught Zanu PF ideology. We must close the registration of new voters because it will be disastrous.”