By Anna Chibamu
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is investigating skirmishes that broke out during President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Bindura rally weekend resulting in scores beaten up and injured by police.
The embarrassing incident happened in the middle of Mnangagwa’s rally address when some party followers started trooping out of Chipadze Stadium, inviting the wrath of the police, army and some Border Gezi youths who could not stomach seeing scores walk out on the President.
The stampede was reportedly triggered by a Zanu PF supporter who had shouted that buses that brought them to the venue were about to leave Chipadze stadium, according to state media.
Some independent media reports however, pointed to disturbances caused by people who had had enough of Mnangagwa’s long address under chilly weather conditions.
Police and members of the army tried in vain to stop the supporters and a soldier is seen on a video that has gone viral bashing a woman with an AK47 rifle as she left the stadium.
ZEC Commissioner, Netsai Mushonga on Monday denied seeing any of the videos trending on social media and instead told the media the stampede was caused by some supporters who had rushed to catch a glimpse of President Mnangagwa’s chopper which was preparing to land.
“I was in Bindura on Saturday and at that rally there were observers and we are liaising with them to get what happened. But, you are also aware that we do not have the investigative role. It is the role of the police to investigate.
“The political parties’ liaison committee in the province will also sit soon to find out what transpired on the day. On the video I did not see the police beating people.
“What I was told is that when the President’s helicopter was about to land, people rushed to that helicopter. We will investigate to get to the bottom of this incident,” Commissioner Mushonga said.
Another Commissioner, Qhubani Moyo also professed ignorance about the said video.
“I did not see the video in question but, I would want to encourage all political parties to conduct the election in a peaceful environment as they would want supporters to vote for them.
“We are very much satisfied that the environment we are operating in is very tranquil and it is satisfactory. We want all political parties to continue in this trajectory as we aim for a free, fair and credible election,” he said.