Review & Mail Writers
Several people were injured following clashes between Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and ZANU-PF supporters in Chitungwiza Ward 7 where the opposition party was conducting its voter mobilisation campaign ahead of a council sear by-election scheduled for May 7.
The police were deployed and forced to use teargar and rubber bullets to disperse people following the violent confrontation.
Among the people injured during the stampede is the former mayor and CCC candidate for ward 7 Zengeza West Constituency counsellor Lovemore Maiko.
In a statement on twitter, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere accused ZANU-PF youths of using violence to disrupt campaign activities of their party and abusing the police services.
“We condemn the violent attacks by Zanu PF on CCC members following our peaceful Ward 7 Chitungwiza voter mobilization campaign. Zanu PF is doing everything it can to impede the holding of a free & fair election. Cllr Maiko our candidate was also badly injured,” said Mahere.
“Dear police, you are nowhere to be seen when ZANU-PF threatens theft of private property yet you have the gall and resources to violently disrupt a CCC peaceful, constitutional voter mobilization drive? Zanu PF must stop abusing the police service.”
However, ZANU-PF director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the CCC should not rush to point fingers at his party but allow the law enforcement agents to conduct thorough investigations and bring the perpetrators to book.
“ZANU PF frowns at and abhors all forms of violence as a means of political mobilization. The President of the Republic Cde ED Mnangagwa and the entirety of Party and National leadership have expressed themselves clearly against all forms of violence. This calls upon law enforcement agents to do thorough investigations and deal with the perpetrators notwithstanding the color of their political jackets,” said Mugwadi.
“What is however immoral is to stampede to aportion blame to zanupf members before such investigations have taken place. In the videos available to us, we have seen CCC members clad in their banana regalia throwing stones at law enforcement agents and ordinary people. How does that become ZANU-PF? This culture of mobilising people by painting ZANU-PF rogue has failed the opposition in several elections.
“It is sad that the MDC-CCC leadership employ other people’s children as stone throwers and instruments of violence while themselves and their children stay far from it. Why is it that when the CCC organise violence, none of their leadership is seen leading it from the front if it is the right thing to do? Those young people who are being abused in thus way must smell the coffee the earlier the better.”
It was a busy weekend for the two political parties as they were both rallying their supporters to vote in their numbers in the coming council by-election.
Senior officials from the ruling party, ZANU-PF on Saturday spent the day on the ground in Chitungwiza drumming up support for the party’s candidate ahead of Saturday’s Chitungwiza council by-election.
The second voter registration blitz ended on 30 April, as the country gears for the much expected 2023 general harmonised elections.
It also ran concurrently with the Registrar General’s (RG) mobile registration exercise to issue a total of two million IDs and birth certificates.