MDC-T and Zanu PF activists were at the weekend involved in bloody clashes in the dormitory town Epworth, invoking fears that the 2018 general elections could mirror the 2008 presidential poll runoff which turned into a bloodbath, particularly for opposition supporters.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The MDC-T, which has embarked on a door-to-door campaign ahead of the polls, had two of its district chairpersons arrested after they allegedly beat up three Zanu PF activists in Epworth, leaving one hospitalised.
Didymus Bande (41) and Philip Muzerengi (38), MDC-T Epworth deputy organising secretary and ward 6 vice-chairpersons respectively, were yesterday remanded in custody when they appeared before Harare magistrate Barbara Chimboza facing charges of assault.
They are expected to apply for bail today.
It is the State’s case that Bande and Muzerengi last Saturday had a misunderstanding with their Zanu PF counterparts at their home over the opposition’s door-to-door campaign.
The two were on a campaign mobilising citizens to register to vote for their party in the 2018 watershed elections.
It is alleged Bande, Muzerengi and their alleged accomplices, who are still at large, arrived at Zanu PF youth secretary for administration Jacob Ndoro’s residence.
The two told Ndoro that they were recruiting people to join their party, who turned them away.
A bloody fight allegedly ensued hours later when Bande, Muzerengi and their unnamed accomplices met Ndoro at Overspill tuckshops following a heated argument.
The court heard that the two started clapping and assaulting Ndoro all over his body.
He is reported to have sustained an injury on his ear. The Zanu PF chairman for Chindunduma district in Epworth, Joseph Ngorima, was also allegedly attacked with knobkerries all over his body before they stole $57 from him.
The third complainant, Tinashe Mtandwa, who is Zanu PF youth political commissar for Epworth district, was also injured during the attack.
It is also the State’s case that Bande and Muzerengi went to Mtandwa’s residence and they found his relatives at home with the intention of handing them over the party recruitment fliers.
The court heard Mtandwa arrived and discouraged his relatives from accepting the MDC-T fliers.
The State alleges this incensed the suspects, who then started assaulting Mtandwa with an iron bar on the right leg and left forefinger.
Mtandwa allegedly sustained some injuries and is currently admitted in hospital.
His condition is reportedly being monitored by doctors who are yet to furnish the police with a report.