Political violence breaks out in Epworth

HARARE - Intra-party violence has reared its ugly head in the ruling Zanu PF party after youth league officials clashed in Harare on Tuesday over residential stands ownership — leaving one house burnt and two children injured.

Zanu PF youth league chairperson for Harare province Godwin Gomwe told the Daily News yesterday that the party’s provincial youth commissar Kudakwashe Damson had his house in Epworth razed down.

Gomwe said the incident left Damson’s two minor children severely burnt by suspected members of the Generation 40 (G40) faction who are allegedly against a proposed land audit in the area.

He alleged the G40 functionaries own vast tracts of land that they illegally acquired taking advantage of former Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, who was Local Government minister then.

“I went there in the morning to check on him and discovered that his home had been burnt using petrol and his two children were also burnt with one of them still admitted in hospital while the other was discharged,” Gomwe said.

“He suspects that it is an inside party job that was carried out by G40 remnants who are not comfortable with a proposed land audit in the area which will likely expose them as land barons and Damson was one of the party leaders advocating for that,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless as national police spokesperson Charity Charamba was not taking calls.

However, Gomwe revealed that the youth league would take corrective action on the matter although he did not specify what sort of action they would take.

“We are attending a PCC meeting right now then there will be a PEC so afterwards we will be able to decide as youth league what to do about it. Our national secretary Pupurai Togarepi is attending these meetings as well so that makes it easier to come up with a decision,” he said.

Kasukuwere was one of the G40 kingpins before the faction was annihilated by the President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led Team Lacoste in November last year when former president Robert Mugabe was deposed.

This is not the first time that Damson has been targeted for attack by fellow comrades in the ruling party.

In 2012,  when he was  a member of the  Zanu PF Zvido Zvevanhu district in Epworth, he had his house destroyed by some party officials linked to the-then vice president Joice Mujuru’s faction who accused him of supporting Gomwe who belonged to Mnangagwa’s camp in the race to succeed Mugabe.

Several families who bought residential stands in Epworth from local Zanu PF officials and were assured that they would not be displaced, today face threats of eviction by council officials.

Others have had their houses demolished because they illegally acquired the residential stands.

The people, most of them living from hand-to-mouth, forked out amounts that ranged from $300 to $1 000, depending on the size of their stands.

According to Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, the real land barons are ensconced in the high echelons of power and seemingly beyond the reach of the long arm of the law.