BLOODY clashes have erupted between ruling Zanu PF and opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) youths at Shackleton Mine, just outside Chinhoyi, ahead of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s rally on Saturday.
BY NUNURAI JENA
Mujuru is at the weekend scheduled to address rallies at Shackleton Mine and Chinhoyi as she drums up support ahead of the 2018 elections where she is likely to face her former boss, President Robert Mugabe.
The skirmishes started on Tuesday when Zanu PF youths reportedly disrupted a ZimPF door-to-door outreach programme to drum up support for the rally.
Three ZimPF youths were left injured when they were caught in running battles while a bus hired by the opposition supporters was allegedly impounded by ruling party youths.
ZimPF member Rukudzo Romani said he was attacked and seriously injured by Zanu PF youths as he attempted to rescue a party colleague who had been cornered by ruling party supporters.
ZimPF provincial leader Prosper Gavanga blasted the police for allegedly taking sides with Zanu PF and failing to apprehend the assailants.
“The police have not reformed as they continue to side with Zanu PF as illustrated by their failure to arrest the assailants,” Gavanga said.
But a top Zanu PF provincial official, Tommy Mwanza, defended his party youths, saying they had acted in self-defence after they were attacked by ZimPF youths.
“The ZimPF youths came and tried to disrupt our routine meetings in the ward.
These (ZimPF) youths are foreigners here in Shackleton and we will not allow them to bulldoze their way here,” Mwanza said.
Most of Mujuru’s rallies have been preceded by inter-party clashes, blamed mainly on Zanu PF supporters.