ZVIMBA — Eight MDC-T supporters were reportedly injured following violent clashes with their Zanu PF counterparts over the use of a venue at Murombedzi business centre in Zvimba on Sunday.
The MDC-T claimed it had secured police clearance to conduct a rally inside a football pitch at the business centre in President Robert Mugabe’s home district but found Zanu PF supporters camped at the venue.
Violence broke out after leaders of both parties failed to find common ground, resulting in their supporters pelting each other with stones.
Finance minister Tendai Biti, who is also MDC secretary-general, had been scheduled to address the rally.
In a statement, the MDC-T said among the injured were women and children.
The party’s Zvimba district chairman Onward Mashiri’s car was damaged in the skirmishes with the MDC-T saying two of its officials were also arrested following the clashes.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara could not confirm the incident, saying he could only give details of the clashes today.
“I am hearing of the clashes between Zanu PF and MDC-T supporters from you because you are on the ground,” he said. “I can only give you full details tomorrow after the information is relayed to our district headquarters and subsequently to our provincial offices.”
MDC-T Mashonaland West organising secretary Wilson Makanyaire said injured party members had been taken for treatment at a private surgery.
“Eight members sustained injuries ranging from broken arms and wounds and have been attended to by a private doctor,” Makanyaire said.
Efforts to get comment from Zanu PF provincial chairman John Mafa were fruitless yesterday as his mobile phone was unreachable.
According to eyewitnesses, trouble started around 11am when groups of MDC-T supporters bussed in from different districts arrived at Gonzogusha grounds.
The MDC-T supporters were stopped by Zanu PF supporters who had gathered at the same venue purportedly for a football match.
Party officials said Biti had to abandon the trip after being informed of the clashes. MDC-T Mashonaland West provincial treasurer Tawanda Bvumo said they had to cancel the rally after police refused to quell the disturbances.
Last week, an MDC-T rally in Darwendale was reportedly disrupted by soldiers and Zanu PF supporters who lit a veld fire at the venue forcing Biti to address party supporters near a cemetery.