Zanu PF Bulawayo youth chairman Butholezwe Gatsi rammed his car into a vehicle in President Robert Mugabe’s motorcade, which was headed for the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), NewsDay can reveal.
The incident occurred just after 10am on
Friday October 22 opposite Queens Sports Club.
The vehicle, a VW Golf, which Gatsi was travelling in rammed into the back of a navy blue Mazda BT50 driven by a member of the Presidential Guard in a motorcade leading to Nust where President Mugabe was going to officiate at the institution’s graduation ceremony.
Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial chairman Isaac Dakamela confirmed the incident Wednesday but said the party would not do anything to Gatsi as he said they were yet to receive official communication on the incident.
“We are waiting to hear from the police,” he said. “We heard about it but we cannot do anything unless the police tell us who was wrong. We cannot rely on hearsay because the danger is that we will end up dealing with half truths and malice.”
After the graduation ceremony and when President Mugabe had left for Harare on a plane from the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport, Dakamela was called by provincial service chiefs to discuss the matter.
“I was called by the police at the airport and they told me about the issue but that was the last time I heard about it. Maybe they decided to deal with the matter privately because we have not heard of it ever since,” said Dakamela.
Dakamela said some Zanu PF members bent on tarnishing the image of Gatsi appeared to be pushing for action to be taken against him because they were eyeing his post.
“I know some people from Zanu PF are sending these things to your office. In politics people are always jostling for positions and I suspect that the people sending you these stories are interested in Gatsi’s position,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Gatsi confirmed that he was involved in an accident but said it was not him behind the wheel.
“I was a passenger in the vehicle. The car was being driven by national youth secretary for transport and welfare Khumbulani Mlilo,” said Gatsi.
He said on approaching an intersection, the BT50 reduced speed and because of the high speed the motorcade was travelling at, Mlilo failed to timeously apply the brakes resulting in them ramming into the vehicle.
“Mlilo was made to pay a fine along with the chairperson for Bulawayo’s ward 2, Davies Mhambi, whose vehicle was also involved in the accident. I am surprised why people are spreading rumours that I was detained by police yet no one was,” said Gatsi.
Repeated efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless.