Double-booking blamed for 'clash'

HARARE - A war of words has emerged in Mashonaland Central Province with political parties accusing each other of intimidation and disruptions of meetings.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC aspiring candidate for Mt Darwin South Gift Sambama claimed that Zanu PF youths disrupted his party’s rally which was scheduled for last weekend.

“We had planned a rally in ward 24 and as we gathered for the event bands of Zanu PF youths descended on the venue overpowering two police officers seconded to provide security,” he said.

“Even when reinforcements were called in, police seemed powerless and in the end we had to disperse. We have since opened case of intimidation with the police in Mt Darwin (RRB1515787),” Sambama said.

However, Mt Darwin police immediately rubbished the claims and instead accused the MDC of changing the venue leading to a “clash”.

“It was the MDC that changed venues and tried to hold their rally where Zanu PF had a football tournament,” officer commanding Mt Darwin District George Mugonda told the Daily News yesterday.

“Nobody dispersed them,” he said. Zanu PF provincial chairperson Dickson Mafios attributed the “disturbances” to double-booking.

“This was a simple case of double-booking. I visited the venue later with Kasukuwere (Mt Darwin South MP and Indigenisation minister) who was supposed to give a speech.

“There was no violence. We are working nicely here and have been preaching peace as requested by President Robert Mugabe,” said Mafios.

MDC provincial chairperson Godfrey Chimombe accused a “few individuals in Zanu PF of disregarding their party directive”.

“We work well with the Zanu PF leadership even in the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic). There are misguided individuals who are being used by a politburo member (name supplied) to fan violence.

“They are not helping with the peace efforts at all. It appears that Zanu PF is disjointed and nobody is in charge anymore,” Chimombe said.

Zanu PF provincial commissar Everson Tauro, who is representing Mafios at Jomic, acknowledged the existence of individuals not towing the party line.

“I need time to talk to these people and make sure they understand the kind of society we are trying to build.

“As you rightly said we are working well with the MDC leadership but in any big family you are bound to have elements that may not ascribe to the majority thinking. It is nothing we cannot work on and correct,” Tauro said.

Mt Darwin South legislator Kasukuwere was not available for comment yesterday.

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