AT least 30 Zanu PF youths last Friday fought running battles with their counterparts from the opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) over use of the ruling party’s building in Rusape, leaving tenants leasing the property stranded.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The Zanu PF youths later sealed off the building, disrupting business activity on the premises, where ZPF had reportedly been offered office space.
Zanu PF manages the building through its investment arm, ZIDCO Holdings.
The property has been at the centre of fierce factional fights since the era of former Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa who controlled the building.
On Friday, Zanu PF youths accused the sitting tenant, Mandy Majoni, of allowing ZPF, led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, to turn part of the building into their party offices.
Majoni confirmed the impasse and promised to call back giving her side of the story.
“I am at the minister’s office. I am sure you want to hear about what is happening in Rusape, so I will call you back,” she said before hanging up after she was asked which minister she was meeting.
Efforts to get hold of Mutasa were not fruitful, but some youths from ZPF, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were entitled to use the building.
“All they want is to deny us space to operate because they fear that we are making political headway in Makoni district,” one of the ZPF youths said.
“The situation is slowly getting out of hand because Zanu PF youths are randomly attacking anyone who comes near that building.
“The sad part is that police are refusing to entertain complainants in this matter. Many people who operate businesses at this warehouse have lost livelihoods because of this reckless behaviour.”
Zanu PF Manicaland provincial members, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said they would not allow Mujuru’s party to abuse their property.
“We have a right to do what we did,” one of them said.
“That warehouse is sealed because, as a serious party, we cannot allow an opposition party to come and use our premises. That is not possible and we are dealing with that.
“Those on the ground are making sure no Zimbabwe People First youth comes near and that the place will remain sealed.”
Zanu PF deputy provincial chairman Joseph Mujati declined to comment.