via Opposition condemn murder, claims vindication – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 16, 2015
Opposition parties say the gruesome murder of two Zanu PF members in suspected intra-party violence in Chitungwiza over the weekend has vindicated them on claims that the ruling party thrives on brutality and the country was not safe if factional wars bedevilling it were not tamed.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Two Zanu PF members were gruesomely murdered by a fellow member on allegations of a misunderstanding over the on-going restructuring exercise that has seen contesting factions in the party vying for posts.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu told NewsDay yesterday that the murder of Lloyd Jamawo and Marko Masenda, who are Zanu PF’s local district executive members for ward 4 in St Mary’s, Chitungwiza, by Proud Mupambwa, the vice-chairman for the same ward, confirmed that the ruling party activists could kill for power.
“It’s sad that this is how low Zanu PF activists could go just for power. This incident vindicates us that violence and killing people is part and parcel of the party’s DNA. Whenever we say Zanu PF is a violent party people should appreciate that we have been victims of their behaviour and now the sword has just turned on its own people,” Gutu said.
Although Mupambwa is now in police custody facing murder charges, Gutu said he could have been used by senior party members who are tussling for positions ahead of the party’s annual conference which is set for Victoria Falls next month.
Mupambwa is likely to face two counts of murder and another of attempted murder after his third victim survived the attack by a whisker.
“By the time we get to their conference, we are likely to see more blood. Given what has happened in the past two weeks, the party is fast disintegrating into a chaotic organisation which does not respect the sanctity of life,” Gutu said.
Within two weeks, violence has erupted between factional camps in Zanu PF with youths in Manicaland exchanging blows over the suspension of the provincial women’s league boss, Happiness Nyakuedzwa last week.
Last week in Harare, violence again erupted in Highfield as youths fought to control the restructuring process to enable their members to hold influential posts in the party.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson Jacob Mafume said developments in Zanu PF, were an indication that the party was now a security threat to its people.
“The chickens are coming home to roost, the centre can no longer hold and this spells calamity for the people of Zimbabwe. If those in power can kill each other for positions, what about State power? This confirms what we have always been saying that President Robert Mugabe and his party are now a security risk,” Mafume said.
The PDP spokesperson said with the level of impunity and lawlessness within Zanu PF, unless there were reforms to protect ordinary people from “this cruelty, opposition supporters would be slaughtered at will”.
“It’s a sham that Zanu PF believes violence and intimidation is the only way to settle political scores.
“They don’t believe in divergent views and what happened in Chitungwiza represents the thinking in the generality of the party leadership. If
they can kill each other for just district posts, what about the bigger and more lucrative posts of governance. We only say God help your people,” Mafume said.
Although Zanu PF Harare spokesperson Abicia Ushewokunze said the murder of party activists was not driven by political misunderstanding, but social issues, eyewitness of the gruesome killing were adamant that political infighting was at play.
Ushewokunze claimed that the murder was due to a misunderstanding that had occurred at a shebeen and not Zanu PF internal fighting.
Colleta Nyamazara, who also resides at the house where the murder took place, said the family runs a shebeen, but the misunderstanding between Mupambwa and his two victims was clearly political and had more to do with Zanu PF Manyame youth executive positions.
Nyamazara is quoted saying: “We gathered that the accused was not happy with his elected position of vice-chair. We were told he wanted to be the chairman, a position he lost during the restructuring exercise last week. We thought the matter was over, only to see him venting his anger on other officials. The painful thing is that it happened at my gate. My house is now cursed and I don’t know how I will overcome this.”
War veteran and former Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, who is now speaking for a group of ex-party stalwarts who were kicked out of the party last year, said the sad incident showed that some party activists no longer respected the sanctity of life.
“This is not what we fought for. The level of intolerance in Zanu PF is pathetic and betrays the values of the liberation struggle. Some of us were kicked out because we wanted to push for what we fought for, democracy and tolerance,” he said.
Political analyst Ernest Mudzengi said the murder of the activists was a sign of the death of intra-party democracy.
“This goes to show how intolerant our political parties are when it comes to internal democracy. When someone loses
an election, they must be able to appreciate that this is how democracy operates. The phenomena is not exclusive to
Zanu PF, even in MDC-T, you will find it at times. People ought to appreciate intra-party democracy and its culture,” Mudzengi said.