Source: Mahofa threatens election violence – DailyNews Live January 7, 2017
HARARE – Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa has made
veiled threats to unleash violence and abductions in Bikita West if the
forthcoming by-election in the constituency does not go Zanu PF’s way.
The threats come as local human rights watchdog, Heal Zimbabwe Trust
(HZT), has expressed deep concerns about the escalation of human rights
violations in the area, ahead of the parliamentary by-election which is
slated for January 21.
The sickly Mahofa told ruling party supporters who gathered at Gwindingwi
Primary School on Wednesday to vote “wisely” or else suffer the
“Haa, munozviziva, muno hamusi mekutamba namo (You all know it. This is
not a constituency to play silly games). Kune vamwe vakatsakatika muno umu
gore riya, munoriziva. Handei tinovhota zvakanaka. (There are some who
disappeared in this constituency as you know. Let us go and vote wisely,”
Mahofa’s remarks appeared to have been aimed at reminding supporters of
the bloody and fiercely-contested 2001 Bikita West by-election, when
Retired Colonel Claudius Makova battled it out with the MDC’s Bonny Pakai.
The titanic contest turned large parts of the constituency into a war
zone, as Zanu PF officials went for MDC supporters, leading to the injury
and displacement of scores of villagers.
An MDC activist, Amos Mutongi, was also said to have been murdered by Zanu
PF thugs, all of whom are still at large.
“Muno, munonetsa kutamba namo. Ukada kutamba nemadh**** pasina mvura
unoshaiwa pekumagezera. Unofamba uchinhuwa. (This party has no room for
funny business. Anyone who dares to do that will find themselves in deep
“This is what we are telling Mai Mujuru. . . . acting president, we do as
we say. What we want to assure you as Masvingo province is that we are
going to give you the highest percentage vote. This is Bikita West, Bikita
Best … let us go and vote wisely,” Mahofa added ominously on Wednesday.
Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) will be represented by Kudakwashe
Gopo in the by-election, which fell vacant when convicted rapist
Munyaradzi Kereke was sent to prison for 14 years.
The former Zanu PF member is one of six candidates vying for the
constituency whose poll build-up has been engulfed by rising political
temperatures, punctuated by clashes between ZPF and ruling party
Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa used Wednesday’s Zanu PF rally to
promise the Bikita West Constituency food aid to alleviate the plight of
hundreds of villagers there who are in urgent need of food aid.
However, civic organisations, who have raised the red flag about the
partisan distribution of food aid ahead of the by-election, doubt if the
aid will be distributed along non-partisan lines.