via Mujuru’s ZPF under siege from Zanu PF – DailyNews Live Farayi Machamire • 31 March 2016
HARARE – Barely a month after former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) was officially launched, the young political outfit is coming under increasing pressure from Zanu PF, as more ruling party officials and supporters stampede to join the new kid on the block.
On Monday, a ZPF supporter was hospitalised after he was said to have been savagely beaten by Zanu PF activists, after being told that his party should stop “stealing” supporters from the deeply-divided ruling party.
The assault, which took place in the Harare dormitory town of Chitungwiza, saw the victim Remedy Musokeri, sustaining multiple internal injuries and losing several teeth, in the latest wave of attacks on ZPF followers.
Contacted by the Daily News yesterday, police spokesperson Charity Charamba said she was not aware of the incident.
But ZPF Harare youth co-ordinator, Farai Kuveya, said the new political outfit was “under siege because it is making serious inroads into Zanu PF’s support base”.
The Chitungwiza incident comes after four ZPF supporters were injured when violence broke out at one of the party’s rallies in Glen View last month, after a group of suspected Zanu PF youths ran amok in the area.
“These are the last kicks of a dying horse,” a miffed Kuveya said of the increasing attacks on ZPF.
The party’s spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, said their erstwhile comrades in Zanu PF were now “bereft of ideas and thus resorting to violence”.
“Zanu PF is known to be a violent party. It does not brook any opposition but the reality is that they are losing support left, right and centre.
“But all this will not stop us because we believe in peaceful engagements. Right now our focus is on the economy which is in such a bad shape,” Gumbo said.
Contacted for comment Zanu PF spokesperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, said he was in a meeting and thus could not respond to the allegations.
“When they were assaulting Musokeri, he was told ‘you guys are taking our people’ and they (the aggressors) were also demanding to know the whereabouts of our Chitungwiza co-ordinator Ephraim Mavungani, who had to flee his house fearing for his life.
“I only managed to assist Musokeri on Monday morning and he was later treated at the Avenues clinic,” Kuveya said yesterday, adding that the party had reported the matter to Chitungwiza police.
“This is not the first time one of our activists has either been assaulted or abducted in Chitungwiza.
“Although we know the perpetrators by name, no one has been arrested in all the cases, so we don’t take any solace from the police because they have never acted. I also don’t see them doing so now and that is what is giving these guys the guts to continue harassing us,” Kuveya said.
Cynical critics say ZPF is getting a taste of its own medicine as some of its members allegedly used to mete out the same jungle justice to the opposition when they were luxuriating in the ruling party.
“It is not fair to say that,” complained Gumbo to the charges, adding, “Have you heard that Gumbo or Mujuru ever incited violence?
“We may have been in Zanu PF, a party that perpetuates violence, but we never condoned that kind of behaviour. We don’t encourage that behaviour and culture at all.
“It’s not just us, the MDC formations are being harassed and intimidated. We have said it time and again that we want to create a peaceful, democratic and stable nation, where people can decide their own future and find space to express themselves”.