A VIDEO of the violence that rocked the Kwekwe Central Zanu PF primary elections went viral yesterday, with the restive activists attacking police officers deployed to calm tempers after machete-wielding rivals attacked each other.
BY Brenna Matendere
The violence was allegedly triggered by use of an old voters’ roll in the polls pitting Kandros Mugabe against State Security minister Owen Ncube’s nephew Energy Ncube.
Both want to represent Zanu PF in the Kwekwe Central by-elections to replace the late National Patriotic Front MP, Masango Matambanadzo who died in June.
In the video, the police are seen using teargas canisters to disperse the crowds, to no avail.
“Zanu PF supporters in Kwekwe have immunity,” a source said.
“They can even beat up a police officer and still walk scot free. In fact, senior officers fear some Zanu PF activists because they have the backing of top government officials. That is why hit squads like Al Shabbab operate freely.”
Police had to fire warning shots, but that could not deter the youths, who continued advancing and pelting them with stones, turning the whole place into a war zone.
There was gunfire on Sunday during the violence that forced the ruling party to abandon the primary elections.
Midlands provincial police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko declined to comment on the Kwekwe skirmishes.
“I did not make a follow-up on the Kwekwe reports of violence. But it is significant that you raise Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi over the matter,” he said.
When contacted for comment, Nyathi said: “I am yet to sit down in the office to look at what has come on my desk in terms of briefs. I spent the whole day at the National Heroes’ Acre, so I am unable to give details on what has been happening in districts,” he said.
Asked about the video, Midlands Zanu PF spokesperson Cornelia Mupereri said: “I am unable to comment on the matter. I am in a lecture.”
But provincial chairman Daniel Mackenzie Ncube on Sunday blamed the violence on gold panners, but failed to explain the presence of the panners at the party polling stations.