A SENIOR Zanu PF official in Manicaland, Nathaniel Mhiripiri, allegedly assaulted a Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) member before firing gunshots to intimidate people intending to join the new opposition party led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru, NewsDay has learnt
Source: Senior Zanu PF official assaults ZimPF activist – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 6, 2016
BY OBEY MANAYITI/KENNETH NYANGANI
Mhiripiri, who is the Zanu PF provincial secretary for production and labour, reportedly force-marched ZimPF member Tomboona Nyabadza to a Zanu PF meeting where he assaulted him and cut his hair as “punishment” for supporting Mujuru’s party.
He later allegedly fired gunshots to further intimidate villagers in the Dewedzo area in rural Rusape’s Makoni West constituency.
Rusape district police boss Chief Superintendent Garikai Gwanyanya confirmed to NewsDay that the two cases were under investigation.
“We are investigating the cases, but we haven’t substantiated the one of firing gunshots,” he said.
“On the assault one we have reports and witnesses. We are investigating the matter and so far we have picked one suspect in connection with the case. We are looking for him (Mhiripiri).”
According to sources, Mhiripiri allegedly committed the offence together with the party’s secretary for indigenisation in the Youth League Tawanda Tswatswa.
“Mhiripiri allegedly slapped Nyabadza three times on the face, telling the gathering that they were prepared to kill people like him. He even ordered some of the party youths to bring a pair of scissors and he cut his (Nyabaza) hair before forcing him to surrender a (ZimPF) T-shirt,” a source said.
ZimPF lawyer Simon Simango, who is handling the matter, said they had already filed a police report for assault.
“I am handling the matter and I was in Rusape recently where we made a police report. Zanu PF is now afraid of ZimPF because of the serious impact that the party has made. Zanu PF is also intimidating our co-ordinators who are mobilising supporters,’’ he said.
Contacted for comment on Wednesday, Mhiripiri said he was not aware of the allegations.
“Who is saying that? If you wanted a full story, why didn’t you invite me to your offices in Harare? You are saying Mujuru now leads another party, are you sure about that? I am a war veteran and I don’t know that Mujuru is out of Zanu PF. Are you the one who fired her from the party?” he retorted.
Tswatswa also said he was unaware of the allegations, but confirmed he saw Nyabadza at the Zanu PF meeting.
ZimPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire said the party was saddened by spirited attacks on their supporters by Zanu PF officials.
“We are urging our supporters to intensify recruitment so that more and more people join ZimPF until there won’t be any Zanu PF supporter to talk about,” he said.
“The Nyabadza incident in Manicaland is not isolated. We have had several of our supporters harassed, some maimed and others losing properties in clear cases of arson. As a party, we are helping those that became victim of these barbaric acts.”
Mawarire said they had teamed up with well-wishers to help ZimPF supporters in the event they fall victim to the “foul Zanu-PF political modus operandi”.
He said on Monday, Mujuru visited ZimPF supporter Patricia Pfachi who broke her left arm after she was allegedly attacked by Zanu PF activists at the maiden Harare rally on June 25.