TWO Mashonaland West traditional leaders who were allegedly abducted at a Zanu PF campaign rally in Hurungwe West on Sunday resurfaced in the constituency yesterday where they gave harrowing accounts of their ordeal at the hands of their abductors.
BY OBEY MANAYITI/NUNURAI JENA
Headmen Kapambara and Alick Mangisi yesterday claimed they were tortured and left for dead by their abductors who accused them of misleading the electorate and campaigning for independent candidate Temba Mliswa.
This came as civic society organisations condemned the tense political environment in Hurungwe West constituency ahead of the June 10 by-elections, saying such a situation would not guarantee free and fair elections.
Before their alleged abduction, Kapambara Mangisi and four other headmen from the constituency were publicly assaulted by party youths at the rally after being labelled “sell-outs”.
The rally was attended by Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo and central committee member Phillip Chiyangwa.
Kapambara, who is Zanu PF Mashuma district chairman, re-joined his family on Monday night while Mangisi, who sustained severe injuries under his feet, resurfaced yesterday.
Mangisi said he was picked by people driving a white vehicle and beaten and left for dead in a bushy area far away from where the rally was held.
“They beat me with big sticks under my feet accusing me of misleading my people,” Mangisi said.
Mliswa is set to contest the election against Zanu PF’s Keith Guzah.
Meanwhile, several civil society organisations have appealed to the police and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to intervene and restore sanity in the constituency to ensure free and fair polls.
“What is particularly disturbing about the unfolding catastrophe is the fact that it is allegedly being perpetrated by very senior people in both the government and ruling party against traditional leaders and communities that support Zanu PF but not necessarily the candidate that has been put up for election,” Election Resource Centre director Tawanda Chimhini said.