MUTARE – RivaI Zanu PF groups clashed at Checheche Growth Point on Friday, with police reportedly intervening to break the warring parties.
Zanu PF Chipinge South MP Enoch Porusingazi blamed the skirmishes on fellow ruling party MP for Chipinge Central Win Mlambo, accusing him of trying to force through an unsanctioned meeting in his constituency, resulting in the violent ejection of bussed crowds by locals.
“I heard that Zanu PF members from my constituency resisted an attempt by …Mlambo to unilaterally hold a meeting at Checheche without the involvement of the local leadership in spite of an express interdict by the party not to hold it,” Porusingazi said.
He said while he did not condone any such conflicts, the situation could have been averted, if he had been allowed to lead the convening of any party meetings in his constituency.
“The local leadership always take the lead in convening meetings or rallies, even if they are meant for provincial or national leaders. A case in point is the recent rally by the first lady in Buhera where the local MP William Mutomba led the process,” Porusingazi said.
Porusingazi said the meeting had not been cleared by police.
Eyewitnesses told the Daily News that a truckload of Zanu PF supporters arrived at the growth point in Chipinge South in preparation for the meeting, triggering violent clashes that saw six vehicles being damaged.
“Police moved in to break up the skirmishes,” a Checheche resident, who preferred anonymity, said.
However, Mlambo argued he had authority to convene the meeting and blamed people who he claimed had joined other parties but were clinging onto positions in Zanu PF.
“It was a Zanu PF meeting which was meant to receive back people who had joined People First around Checheche and across Chipinge South. I went there as a central committee member, a national figure and we were going to achieve something very good for the party. We informed everyone, including the local MP, in writing,” he claimed.
“The reason why we were blocked was not because I’m from Chipinge Central. There are a number of people still in Zanu PF who joined other parties and are afraid of being exposed during such meetings,” Mlambo said in a thinly veiled dig at Porusingazi who has survived similar allegations in the past.
He declined to name the culprits, saying the reason he wanted to conduct the meeting was to unify the party and naming people would achieve the opposite.
Efforts to get a comment from police provincial spokesperson Tavhiringwa Kakova were not successful by the time of going to the press as his mobile phone went unanswered.