via Midlands Province refutes violence allegations – Sunday News Feb 14, 2016
Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
ZANU-PF Midlands Province has refuted allegations of harassment, intimidation and barring of members of the Women’s League who wanted to attend a rally which was organised to show support for President Mugabe following his recent appointment as Rapporteur of the African Union. This follows Women’s League Secretary for Finance, Cde Sarah Mahoka’s accusations during the rally on Wednesday at the party headquarters in Harare where she alleged that there were members of the Women’s League from Midlands Province who had been blocked from attending the meeting by some members in the province.
Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development and Mberengwa West legislator Dr Jorum Gumbo said the development was not communicated through party structures and challenged anyone from the province who was harassed or threatened with violence to come forth and testify so that the culprits will be brought to book. He was speaking soon after the Provincial Co-ordinating Committee meeting in Gweru yesterday.
“Midlands is very united and under one leadership. For a very long time we have been united behind the President. We will not be worried by statements that were made without any background information. We are solidly behind President Mugabe.
“There are investigations that are going on and reports I received today show that there was no such a thing. What has emerged is that one bus that went to Mberengwa had a breakdown. Another report is that the chairwoman (Cde Elena Shirichena) was informed on Saturday that they would be provided with one bus to ferry members of the Women’s League to Harare.
“However, on Tuesday evening at around 5.30pm another message is purported to have been relayed by Cde Thokozile Mathuthu telling the chairwoman that they would be provided with five buses but it was too late to organise the women. However, three buses went to Harare. I am happy because all women have said nothing of that sort (harassment) happened. We only wear party regalia in the province with the President’s image and the logo of the party. There is nothing like Team Lacoste (faction allegedly led by Vice- President Emmerson Mnangagwa) maybe elsewhere but not in this province,” he said.
Cde Shirichena also concurred that no-one was intimidated or assaulted as alleged. She challenged any victim of intimidation to come and testify.