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Zanu PF unleashes violence on ex-Mines minister Chidhakwa’s supporters in Zvimba South 

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By Staff Reporter


A TENSE political environment has engulfed Zvimba South constituency, where former Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa’s supporters have come under siege from alleged ruling party functionaries.

Now running as an independent candidate to reclaim his parliamentary seat following expulsion from Zanu PF in the 2017 coup aftermath, Chidhakwa, a loyalist of late former president Robert Mugabe, hopes to bounce back ostensibly to complete unfinished developmental projects.

Rattled by imminent threats by the ex-cabinet minister of denting his political fortunes, Zanu PF Zvimba South candidate Dexter Malinganiso has reportedly unleashed violent hoodlums, who have embarked on an orgy of violence assaulting and intimidating villagers perceived sympathetic to Chidhakwa.

In a recent incident, Chidhakwa’s apologist was attacked at his Kutama homestead by a mob of 20 Zanu PF thugs, who used rods and open fists to assault him. This was after Zanu PF convened a rally in the area where party activists openly directed youths to attack opponents.

Three reports of violence and property destruction have been made at Darwendale Police Station.

One incident was filed under Report Received Book (RRB) number 5335152 against Telmore Mafigo, who is Zanu PF-linked gang leader, while the second matter (RRB number 5073481) involving intimidation and malicious damage to property was also lodged at the same police station.

Complainant is Tinashe Michael Macheka who alleges his assailants were Chrispen Sendi, Pinos Marisa, Needmore Makota and Rodney Kaswaurere from Ward 21.

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Chidhakwa described the attacks as barbaric.

“It is very unfortunate that some people are still carrying our election campaigns in this primitive way. We are one family only separated by political ideologies, therefore, there is no reason to resort to violence as politics is just a matter of being able to get support through good works,” Chidhakwa said.

An aspiring Zvimba Rural District councillor, Macheka, was not spared the brutality after he and his supporters were attacked by known Zanu PF activists.

“We were attacked last Saturday which was actually the third attack on our members by the same Zanu PF thugs, but surprisingly even though we managed to identify the culprits sent by the party’s candidate, police are yet to make arrests. Culprits are roaming free,” said Macheka.

“Zanu PF is trembling as they know they are losing this council seat and constituency. The party has nothing new to offer the electorate that is why they are resorting to violence and intimidation.”

When contacted by NewZimbabwe.com for comment, Malinganiso refuted the allegations of violence, before expressing confidence of romping to victory.

“I am hearing (allegations of violence) from you for the very first time. I have not been intimidated and l have never intimidated anyone.

“Zanu PF is a colossal party and it’s not the first time such unfounded allegations are being made by detractors. It’s a gimmick as they set the agenda inorder to find excuses when they lose elections,” said Malinganiso.

Sources who spoke to this publication, however, insist the aspiring Zanu PF lawmaker’s party-issued 4×4 vehicle is frequently spotted loaded with party youths on vigilante patrols to sniff out known and perceived detractors.

Malinganiso is representing Zanu PF in the August 2023 national plebiscites after emerging victorious in a primary election in which he beat incumbent Zvimba South legislator, Phillip Chiyangwa, and sitting Zvimba East MP Tawanda Tungamirai, whose constituency was partly swallowed in the contentious delimitation exercise.

He will square off against Chidhakwa, who is riding on infrastructure development history in the rural area, and Nelson Shayamano of Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) for the National Assembly seat.

As Zimbabwe hurtles towards 2023 harmonised elections, reports of political violence are rising across the country with some aspirants resorting to thuggery against their “enemies.”