Several Zanu PF supporters were reportedly injured, while others were arrested following retributive intra-party clashes in Gutu East constituency on Friday, as the tension from the fallout over the disputed primary polls escalated.
By Tatenda Chitagu
The clashes, according to party sources, involved youth sympathetic to sitting MP Berita Chikwama and her challenger, Mafio Mlambo.
The violence broke out after Chikwama allegedly arm-twisted the party’s commissariat department and managed to stop a re-run that had been earlier been ordered by Zanu PF national commissar, Engelbert Rugeje.
The re-run was called off at the last minute without explanation, sparking heavy clashes between the rival camps.
At least five party activists were arrested at Basera police camp, where Chikwama’s vehicle, a Range Rover, was still parked yesterday after its windscreen and windows were shattered.
“There was a meeting at Basera business centre and war veterans aligned to Chikwama were told point-blank that she (Chikwama) was unwelcome in the area as she was invisible and had rigged the primary polls and had also managed to convince the national elections directorate to stop a re-run on the last minute,” one of Mlambo’s supporters, who declined to be named, said.
Masvingo provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Charity Mazula could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Both Chikwama and Mlambo could also not be reached for comment.