GWERU — As the level of violence between the two main protagonists in the unstable inclusive government brokered by former South African President Thabo Mbeki escalates, unknown arsonists on Tuesday petrol-bombed Zanu PF offices in the Midlands province.
The heinous act flies in the face of repeated and desperate calls of peace and tranquillity by President Robert Mugabe (Zanu PF), Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and Welshman Ncube of the breakaway MDC.
Last month, the trio held an anti- violence indaba in Harare amid cheers, pomp and fanfare where those sceptical of the move described it as a charade to hoodwink Zimbabweans into believing leaders of the dysfunctional government of national unity had kissed and made up.
The three-storey building where the bombed offices are located in Gweru’s central business district also houses the Central Intelligence Organisation, police Criminal Investigation Department and several private organisations.
The Zanu PF offices are located on the ground floor.
Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Patrick Chademana confirmed the attack, but declined to give further details.
“All I can do is to confirm that the offices were bombed around midnight Tuesday and investigations are taking place. I cannot comment further,” Chademana said.
Zanu PF national spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed the latest incident.
“It is true that our Gweru offices were petrol-bombed last night, but you can get more information from (Francis) Chikwira (Midlands party secretary for administration).
“It is very difficult to suspect anyone at this moment because we have not yet got any police report, but it might be political,” said Gumbo.
Contacted for comment, Chikwira backed down, saying he was not in a position to do so since he did not know the person he was speaking to over the phone.
When NewsDay visited the offices yesterday morning, armed police and members of the Zimbabwe National Army had barricaded part of the street and closed all buildings near the scene.
Although NewsDay could not ascertain the value of property destroyed, shattered window panes could be seen strewn on the verandah of the building as well as rubble.
As late as yesterday afternoon, no arrests had been made as police were still investigating.
Some Zanu PF sources yesterday accused MDC supporters over the attack while others blamed it on internecine bickering within the party’s structures.
Zanu PF provincial chairman Jason Machaya could also not be drawn to shed more light on the bombing.
“I have no details right now, but what I only know is that our offices were bombed.