Violence broke out at Hopley Farm Sunday with feuding members of two co-operatives — one aligned to MP Hubert Nyanhongo, and the other linked to a Zanu PF councillor Evelyn Njiri — trading blows in skirmishes that left three people injured.
Police were called in to stop the fight and sensing danger Nyanhongo, who was set to address the meeting, did not turn up because of the violence.
Hopley Farm has become a political hotspot with mainly Zanu PF activists deeply divided over the stands allocated to them during the election period by the party.
A war of words has also erupted between Nyanhongo and Njiri as the two have made their war public, exposing the deep-seated divisions in Zanu PF Harare province.
When NewsDay visited the farm yesterday, the situation was tense after rowdy co-operative members smashed windows of a co-operative office and fought running battles leading to the three sustaining injuries.
Last week, Njiri, the only Zanu PF councillor in the MDC-T-dominated Harare City Council, begged the city fathers to intervene in her favour to end the saga before there was a bloodbath at the farm.
Njiri told fellow councillors that she had lost hope of getting assistance from her MP whom she accused of neglecting those who voted him into power through violent means.
“Mayor, I need your help. All is not well in my ward and anytime people can kill each other. It’s a war and I don’t know how I can get over this,” she said.
“I think there is deliberate ploy by some people in council to sabotage my work. The town clerk (Tendai Mahachi) is giving orders that I be helped yet nothing is happening on the ground. Please help me before something terrible happens in my ward,” she said in her appeal to Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda.
People are reportedly staying outside and are vulnerable to rains that started last week exposing them to disease.
“We are trying to seek assistance from the International Organisation for Migration as people are staying in the open as we speak. I would not be proud to be a leader who does not care for her people,” she said.
“This area is for Zanu PF. I don’t know why this MP has sidelined his own people,” she said.
“He used to come here but not anymore and I am worried that he is allowing MDC people to come here and do what they want. We grabbed this land violently so we cannot allow them to do what they want.” However, Nyanhongo said Njiri was docile and needed to be taught.
The feuding co-operatives split in 2006 forcing them to share the stands equally with one having 17 co-operatives and 789 members while the other co-operative took 22 with a total number of 1 442 members.