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Orgy of violence engulfs Masvingo ahead of elections

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Orgy of violence engulfs Masvingo ahead of elections

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SIMBARASHE MTEMBO/
GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
MIRROR REPORTERS

MASVINGO-An orgy of violence is sweeping across Masvingo Province ahead of the August 23, 2023, general elections with several parliamentary candidates and party supporters assaulted, intimidated, or harassed.
In most cases independent and Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates are at the receiving end of the violence allegedly being perpetrated by Zanu PF candidates.
Police is also accused of failing to act on reports made by independent and CCC candidates.
The recent incident involves Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) Gutu South parliamentary candidate Hamandishe Gobvu who was involved in a high-speed chase with a Toyota Landcruiser allegedly belonging to Zanu PF incumbent legislator and chief whip Pupurai Togarepi on Tuesday.
Gobvu and his campaign team were pelted by stones at Pfungidzo Primary School and Gutu Police refused to accept their report.
Togarepi refuted the matter when contacted for a comment and insisted that Gobvu was fabricating stories as he does not have supporters. He also said there is no evidence to suggest that the vehicle that chased Gobvu belongs to him.
Gobvu has since been summoned by Masvingo CID law and Order to detail told The Mirror that his driver sped at 140 km per hour on the seven km dusty road to evade the tailing vehicle.
Independent Mwenezi West candidate Tafadzwa Shumba who is a former Zanu PF Central Committee member had his vehicle torched by unknown assailants on Wednesday morning. The party’s provincial chairperson Rabson Mavhenyengwa recently told President Emmerson Mnangagwa that they are troubled with party members who are contesting as independent candidates and will deal with them.
Zanu PF’s Bikita South candidate Energy Mutodi is in the eye of a storm after he allegedly fired two shots at CCC members waiting for Nelson Chamisa to address a rally at Baradzanwa Business Centre.
CCC has since filed an appeal with ZEC to have the former deputy Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services disqualified by ZEC for violating its code of conduct for political parties and candidates. Mutodi told The Mirror that he did not file a Police report on advice from Officer Commanding Masvingo South Taurai Mambure.
Recently Zanu PF Bikita candidates evicted Tinarwo Macheka living with a disability from his cooperative office to use as the party’s office.
Chivi CCC cluster Secretary Francis Makore was also assaulted in the Mhiti Area in Ward 7 for allegedly wearing party regalia. He was admitted to Chivi District Hospital for several days. His assailants were allegedly Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) and Zanu PF supporters.
In Chiredzi eight CCC members were arrested after Police used teargas to disperse party members who were waiting for Chamisa at Tshovani Stadium. They wallowed in remand prison for 13 days. High Court in Masvingo judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze granted ZWL$100 000 each on Monday.
In Masvingo rural, Police had to intervene after Zanu PF youth invaded a soccer pitch where CCC was holding a meeting and began playing football while in Masvingo Urban CCC candidate Martin Mureri was fined US$30 for public nuisance. He was holding a road show campaign.
Zanu PF Masvingo candidates, particularly Minister of State for Masvingo and incumbent Masvingo West MP Ezra Chadzamira and his Masvingo Urban counterpart Wellington Mahwende have their vehicles playing loud music in the CBD during work hours.

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