via Zanu PF youths trade blows – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 11, 2015
VIOLENCE erupted in Highfield yesterday as Zanu PF youths traded blows during a restructuring exercise over the criteria to use in voting for party district executives.
BY MOSES MATENGA
The restructuring is in preparation for the party’s Victoria Falls conference next month and comes amid serious infighting between factions tussling to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
NewsDay visited Highfield, where witnesses said violence erupted after sharp differences over the criteria to be used to vote for the youth leadership in the district and several people were caught up in the fracas.
The situation had returned to normal at a local community hall, but the atmosphere was tense, with eyewitnesses narrating how they dodged stones and several objects that were being thrown from all directions by the fighting party youths.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not immediately confirm the violence, saying she would check on it.
Highfield West MP Psychology Maziwisa was not available for comment, as his mobile phone was unreachable.
Harare provincial commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe was also not available to comment on the skirmishes, while national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo was not answering his mobile number.
Witnesses said skirmishes started on Monday evening, forcing the adjournment of the restructuring exercise.
The process resumed yesterday, but officials failed to agree on modalities before the fights broke out.
“They were throwing stones and all sorts of objects at each other,” a witness said.
“We only heard that some wanted to use a book with names of party supporters, while others questioned that and wanted everyone present to vote, hence the violence. One of the troublemakers was taken to the police.
“The stones hit our houses and some cars as the fights turned nasty.”
Several onlookers watched from a safe distance as the elections proceeded.
Last week, Zanu PF national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere reportedly witnessed violent clashes as ruling party supporters fought during a restructuring exercise in Kadoma. Several party members were reportedly injured and rushed to Kadoma General Hospital.
Zanu PF officials are divided along factional lines, with one group allegedly loyal to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the other to First Lady Grace Mugabe.