FORMER Vice-President and National People’s Party (NPP) leader Joice Mujuru and dozens of her supporters were yesterday injured after they were attacked with stones by suspected Zanu PF activists in Glen Norah and Glen View, Harare.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The incident raised fears that Zimbabwe might not have free and fair elections as promised by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his inauguration speech on November 24 last year.
Mujuru was campaigning in Highfield and Glen View suburbs ahead of the impending elections, when her convoy was intercepted by commuter omnibuses carrying Zanu PF supporters, and pelted with stones.
Her campaign vehicles were severely damaged in the skirmishes, as Mujuru herself sustained a swollen cheek after she was hit during the attack.
The former Vice-President described the incident as barbaric and called on the electorate to dump Mnangagwa’s “violent” Zanu PF party in the upcoming elections.
“Some of these things are done by the government and we must ask that if things are being done in this way, are we going to have a free and fair election? There won’t be,” she said.
“Are we going to say elections were free and fair under these conditions? We cannot! Is this the same government that is going to administer free and fair elections? We are now questioning why they call themselves a credible government.”
Mujuru added: “Let’s not forget that this administration came through unconstitutional means, which is a coup. So let’s not forget it’s a military government that came in through a coup d’etat and this is why they are doing this. This is not a government that will fulfil the people’s will.”
She said her party would not fight back, but would continue to campaign peacefully in order to expose “Zanu PF’s undying violent DNA.
“This should show the world that we are a party that does its business in peace. We don’t fight and we don’t want anybody to think that we are here to destroy their lives because others are used.”
Although police were not readily available to comment over the incident, Mujuru claimed her supporters had managed to apprehend some of the culprits, who included soldiers.
“Please let’s not retaliate, but let’s show them how things are done. This is the 21st century and we shouldn’t be doing things such as what happened today,” the former Vice-President said.
“Going onwards, there is no turning back. We are moving ahead and even the President said elections are going ahead and as we prepare we need to conscientise ourselves and we will fight peacefully. We don’t take weapons to fight others. We have to teach them modern politics and appeal to the people.”
NPP secretary-general Gift Nyandoro said their attackers initially shouted obscenities at Mujuru before pelting her convoy with stones.
He said after the attack, Mujuru insisted that they should continue with the campaign.
Nyandoro said they were first attacked near Chitubu in Glen Norah A and later in Glen View 8, adding Mujuru was then taken to a private city hospital for treatment.
“As we are talking now, several people are badly injured and we have colleagues who have been taken to hospital,” he said.
But Zanu PF Harare provincial chairman Godwills Masimirembwa said he was unaware of the incident.
“I have no knowledge of that at all. I am hearing it from you for the first time, but I will enquire,” he said.
Zanu PF has been accused of unleashing violence as a campaign tool against its opponents each time there are elections.