ZANU PF Mberengwa North district executive member and prominent businessman, Tinashe Shumba has torched a tribal storm after he reportedly insulted members of the Lemba (VaRemba) community who refused to chant ruling party slogans as well as denigrate MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.
By Brenna Matendere
The development has since angered the opposition MDC Alliance with the party’s Midlands provincial spokesperson Takavafira Zhou warning the Zanu PF politician that he risked facing the wrath of the Lemba community.
The Lemba people are a minority tribe, but were part of early settlers to come from Sudan, Tanzania and Yemen upon which they settled in various parts of Zimbabwe including Mberengwa.
Southern Eye is reliably informed that on Sunday, Shumba also known as Goga, had several meetings at Takarangana, Magavakava, Rusvinge and other areas in Mberengwa North where those who attended said he was canvassing for support to become the constituency MP in the next elections on a Zanu PF ticket.
Sources said when he reached Masarira Business Centre, he met a small group of people belonging to the Lemba tribe and tried to force them to chant Zanu PF slogans, but they refused.
“We were a group of about 30 and we wanted to procure food at the business centre. The guy then arrived and started to talk politics saying Chamisa is a sellout. He chanted Zanu PF slogans and no one responded. That is when he started to say Lemba people are a forsaken tribe and poor idiots whose only achievement in life is to get circumcised. There was chaos and people almost burnt his lorry which had some Zanu PF youths,” said Nomore Magadzire, a Lemba villager who witnessed the commotion.
Zhou confirmed the incident and took a swipe at Shumba.
“Zanu PF must reprimand its errant Mberengwa North aspiring MP, Tinashe Shumba. He must be strongly reprimanded for behaving like a rabid dog when the nation is facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Shumba defied lockdown guidelines by conducting meetings with Zanu PF supporters at Takarangana Business Centre as well as Magavakava area in Mberengwa where such supporters did not observe social distance nor wear masks. COVID-19 effects know no political party and is a danger to communities of Mberengwa at large, across the political divide,” Zhou said.
“He has also been using foul language, insulting Lemba communities particularly at Masarira Business Centre. The Lemba community is peace-loving but would not tolerate Goga’s thuggery and attempts to divide it by trying to force any of its members to chant Zanu PF slogans and denigrate Nelson Chamisa.”
Zhou revealed he had obtained evidence of the insults Shumba hurled at the Lemba community. “He (Shumba) must never try to insult the Lemba community or else they would retaliate and respond in a ‘kuve’ lemba way against him which is a Lemba response to thugs (and) is acceptable even in the Constitution.”
Luwelyn Sibanda, a resident at Mnene Mission Hospital told Southern Eye that on the same day Shumba was later involved in a hit and run accident which injured a local villager who got admitted at the healthcare centre.
Shumba said all the claims were false.
“These stories are just being fabricated by my enemies. I never did any of those things. Even the audio recordings being cited were also fabricated,” he said.