Zanu-PF youths in violent clashes

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Zanu-PF supporters were left nursing injuries after a violent encounter over a residential stand owned by a deceased party supporter in Grobly Park, Waterfalls in Harare.

Zanu-PF shadow councillor for Ward 35, Leonard Gono, was severely injured after he tried to fend off an invasion of his late brother Antony Gono’s residential stand by a group of people led by one Justice Taruva, a suspected land baron last Saturday.

Antony, who was a Zanu-PF provincial member from 2013 to 2017, died in 2021.

The rival groups were sent scattering after a police officer, in support of Taruva, produced a gun and threatened to shoot Gono.

The police officer, Learnmore Masawi has since been arrested and charged with possession of a firearm.

According to witnesses, before the fights, two men were languishing in remand prison after Gono reported them to the police for occupying the stand illegally.

Gono had found them working on the stand on the orders of Taruva.

The stand is on a piece of land owned by former Harare South MP Shadreck Mashayamombe through his company, Tanaka Development Group.

Mashayamombe has secured three court orders barring Taruva from the land.

The orders were obtained after Taruva tried to invade the land at a time Mashayamombe was fired from the party.

Taruva also has three dockets on land invasion pending over him.

“So, (last) Saturday, Taruva came with a mob and ordered Antony’s widow off,” a source said.

“She called Leonard for help and when he arrived, fights ensued.

“Leonard was attacked by a machete. “Taruva also got injured when a group of people from the neighbouring area came to support Leonard.”

The source added: “This is when Musasiwa produced a gun to scare away the charging people.

‘The police later came and arrested the youths. Leonard and Taruva were allowed to seek medical attention first.

“They were summoned to come to court over public fighting. Only Leonard went to court, but Taruva snubbed.”

Contacted for comment, Gono accused Taruva of ignoring President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call to stop illegal land grabs.

“The president is very clear about land invasion, but they are continuing to invade our properties,” Gono said.

He said Taruva stays in Chitungwiza, but has been falsely claiming to be a ward 35 resident.

“What is worrying us more now is the involvement of armed police officers in these crimes,” Gono said.

“Taruva has more than three warrants of arrest and a lot of contempt of court cases, but he is roaming around here free.

“He was evicted lawfully and was ordered not to come here again, but he is here defying all those high court orders.”

He accused Taruva of duping the people by selling them stands that belong to Mashayamombe, lying that he was given the authority by the former MP when he was fired from the party.

But Taruva denied assaulting anyone, claiming he was the one who was beaten up.

He also denied that the fights were about the stand belonging to Antony, who he said was Mashayamombe’s right-hand man.

He said he was leading a group of youths who were allocated stands by Mashayamombe’s Tanaka Development Group, but were being repossessed by the same.

Taruva said the court orders against him were instigated by a company contracted by Mashayamombe to develop roads.

However, court papers show the dispute was between him and Takana Development Group.

Tanaka Group secured a court order dated January 8, 2024 to evict the remaining people on its land.

Source – the standard