Suspected members of National Youth Service (NYS) in Bulawayo allegedly abducted and severely assaulted their provincial chairman and left him for dead in an act believed to have been precipitated by an earlier argument over who should be patron of the organisation.
NYS is generally viewed as a Zanu PF appendage.
Members reportedly assaulted Nqobile Mlilo after attending a party hosted for Zanu PF politburo member Tshinga Dube at his Killarney home in the city on Sunday.
Mlilo was picked up on Monday at a service station at Ascot in the city and taken to hospital where he received several stitches on his mouth and cheek from injuries sustained during the assault.
Sources told NewsDay Mlilo had an argument with some members after he allegedly objected to Douglas Siziba being nominated patron of the organisation.
“Mlilo was of the view that instead Siziba should be advisor to the organisation, and the patron be President Robert Mugabe. However, this did not go down well with some youths loyal to Siziba,” said a source.
“When Mlilo left the party, he was joined by two youths and as they were making their way towards a car meant to ferry them to town. His head was covered with a cloth and he was shoved into a car. He was picked by some good Samaritans the next day seriously injured.”
Mlilo yesterday confirmed the attack and said he had since made a report to the police, IRB number 62771/11.
“I was attacked as I left the party. I am not sure exactly who attacked me, but earlier on, we had an argument with some members over who should be patron of the organisation,” said Mlilo.
Siziba who was expelled from the Zanu PF structures following his alleged participation in the Tsholotsho Declaration, said: “I stepped down as patron of the organisation on Monday because I do not want to be associated with confused people. However, I am not sure if someone would fight over me,” he said.
“I heard about Mlilo’s assault and even advised him to make a report to the police.”
No comment could be obtained from Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo. Efforts to get a comment from national police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena were also fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.