HARARE – Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP) has claimed that Zanu PF has launched a terror campaign in the volatile Mashonaland Central province, threatening villagers against supporting the former vice president in next year’s elections.
NPP Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson Godfrey Chimombe told the Daily News yesterday Zanu PF has set up a “terror base’’ at Chaminuka Training Centre in Mt Darwin.
“Our people are being intimidated. One of our supporters Rodie Kadondo was severely beaten by Zanu PF thugs.
“Zanu PF is enrolling youths at Chaminuka Training Centre saying they want to train them farming but actually these people are being used as Zanu PF terror machinery. We have reported our case at Mt Darwin Police Station because our supporters are now living in danger.
“I want to warn Zanu PF that we now dominate the province, whether they like it or not, we are going to form the next government,” Chimombe said.
Mashonaland police spokesperson Petros Masikati said: “The cases have not yet reached our office.”
NPP spokesperson Jeffryson Chitando said Zanu PF has lost respect of rural people.
“Zanu PF has seen its support base crumbling like a deck of cards in Mash Central. Mugabe regarded Mashonaland Central a one-party province but has lost ground. We will not be intimidated by the last kicks of a dying horse. NPP is a peaceful, legal party but would like to warn Zanu PF that violence won’t pay as many would never vote for a violent party.
Efforts to get comment from Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland Central Dickson Mafios were fruitless as his mobile phone was not reachable.
In 2008, Mashonaland Central was one of the provinces which witnessed horrific violence which left more than 200 MDC supporters dead when Zanu PF went on a retribution exercise to punish supporters suspected to have backed opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC who beat Mugabe and Zanu PF hands down in that year’s historic, albeit hotly-disputed polls.
However, the results of the elections were withheld for six long weeks by stunned authorities, amid widespread allegations of ballot tampering and fraud which were later revealed by former Zanu PF bigwigs who are now in opposition ranks.
In the ensuing sham presidential run-off, which authorities claimed was needed to determine the winner, Zanu PF apparatchiks engaged in a murderous orgy of violence in which hundreds of Tsvangirai’s supporters were killed in cold blood, forcing the former prime minister in the inclusive government to withdraw from the discredited race altogether.