By Zimbabwe Peace Projects (ZPP)
Former MashumaZanu PF District Youth chairperson KudakwasheBen’s life is reported to be in danger. It is reported that the threat to his life was issued on May 24 at a meeting held at Mashuma Primary School in Hurungwe West.
The master of ceremony at the meeting Patrick Goredema is alleged to have issued the threat, “Kana painehamadzaKudaendaimunomuudzakutingaafambiremudenga, akafambirapasiamedzwa kana kubaya” (If by any chance there are people here related to Kuda they should advise him to desist from using the ground because if he does he might be swallowed or simply disappear without trace). Ben is accused of being an ally of former Hurungwe West legislator Temba Mliswa.
The team that addressed the meeting at Mashuma primary is alleged to have been led by Zanu PF Secretary for Administration IgnatiousChombo.Mliswa is contesting the June 10 elections as an independent candidate against Keith Guzah the Zanu PF candidate.
Donald Chimatiraa former Zanu PF district chairperson who contested and lost against Pius Madzinga in the Zanu PF primaries for Glenview South is being labelled a thief and a sell-outby Zanu PF as he is said to have betrayed the party by standing against Pius Madzinga. Chimatira who is now contesting the Glenview South seat as an independent candidate,is going around the constituency with his team handing out fliers and asking residents to support him in the June 10 by-election. Chimatira who is a Border Gezigraduate is said to have betrayed ZanuPFand is also being accused of being homosexual and of being aligned to former Vice President Joyce Mujuru.
Zanu PF held a rally on 19 May at Glenview 3 Community Centre which was addressed by the Harare Provincial Women’s League committee. The rally was attended byZanu PF members including party members from Highfield led by Highfield East candidate Psychology Mazivisain a show of support for the Glenview South Zanu PF candidate Pius Madzinga. During the rally independent candidate Donald Chimatira was denounced. The rally was attended by mainly women as it was also a celebration of Women’s Day.
Zanu PF held a joint Glenview South and Highfield West rally at Zororo in Highfield West on 23 May to lend support to the Highfield West candidate Mazivisa. The rally was originally planned for Mushamukadzi carpark near Glenview 1 Primary School.
Transform Zimbabwe held a rally in Glenview South constituency outside the Glenview district offices at a place known as pavapostori. Transform Zimbabwe had a handful of supporters, as well as candidates from Dzivarasekwa, Highfield West, Kuwadzana and Kambuzumawho attended in a show of support to Moses Nkomo their candidate for Glenview South. The party president Jacob Ngarivhumeaddressed the gathering and urged the people to vote for Moses Nkomo and defend the seat from Zanu PF. The next Transform Zimbabwe rally is set to be held at Glenview 3 shopping centre on Saturday 30 May.
Morgan Tsvangirai addressed people in all 5 constituencies where there are by-elections in Bulawayo and also in Tsholotsho over the weekend of 16 – 17 May explaining his party’s non participation in the June by-elections and urging those who wanted to vote to spoil the ballot papers by writing ‘No reforms no elections.’
Retired Colonel TshingaDube, the Zanu PF candidate held a rally at Macdonald Hall on 16 May which had about 800 people in attendance. He urged residents to give him a chance in the June 10 by-elections. Food was served after the rally. The aspiring MP is paying courtesy visits to all funeral wakes and offering money to the bereaved in Ward 7. The previous week, a man from House No.131 10th St. was stabbed to death by muggers. Retired Colonel TshingaDubeis said to have paid all the hospital fees and purchased food for the mourners.A tent has been pitched behind the Efusinishopping centre as a command centre for Dube. Teamscanvass for votes daily led by their chief election agent MowellNdlovuby conducting door-to-door campaignsand handing out pamphlets and fliers.
Independent candidate SibangilizweMsipha obtained the voters roll and since 19 May 2015 people queue at his house to check for their names.
The ZAPU candidate Jonathan Ndlovu held a meeting on 20 May at Burombo Flats. Only 19 symphathisers attended the meeting and they were asked to mobilise more people for the next scheduled meeting on Friday 22 May. Some of the youths advised the candidate to source for funds in order to lure more voters.
Two women in their 60’s are conducting door-to-door campaigns in Ward 9 and putting up posters of the Zanu PF candidate Joseph Tshuma. An independent candidate VusumuziMabhikwa is campaigning at bottle stores, beer halls and shebeens.The situation is relatively peaceful with no incidents of violence.
TheZanu PF Commissar’s house has a daily duty roster for his campaign team. The independent candidate NjabulisoMguni is distributing fliers door-to-door.
There are few incidents of intimidation like when 3 ZAPU lorries carrying campaigners stopped at the Zanu PF Commissar’s house on 20 May. The campaigners jumped out and began singing ‘Tichasanganakumavoti’ (We will meet on voting day) right in front of the Commissar’s house.
There have been no posters seen in the constituency, only fliers of candidates from Zanu PF and ZAPU.
Candidates in the constituency are conducting door-to-door campaigns and urging people to check the voters roll. There is an independent candidateMkhululiNyathi a businessman who is promising to address developmentissues,thoughfew residents are showing interest.
On 16 May Morgan Tsvangirai addressed people at Old Pumula open hall less than a hundred meters from Zanu PF candidate for Pumula constituency GodferyMalaba’s command centre. Morgan Tsvangirai explained how it was futile for his party to contest the election without reforms.There were no disturbances which took place as Malaba and his team were in Pumula East at that time.
Zanu PF held a meeting on 23 May at Pumula North shops, which was addressed by Vice President PhelekezelaMphoko. On the same day MDC-T held a meeting at Njube grounds which was well attended. Douglas Mwonzora gave a speech on the non-participation of the party in the by-elections.
Intra party conflicts in the MDC-T
However there are reports of growing intra party conflicts in the MDC-T in Bulawayo. Acting MDC-T chairperson for Bulawayo DorcasSibanda reports she is living in fear following breaking of windows at her house as well as the writing of hate graffitti by youths she alleges are being sent by MDC-T Deputy President ThokozaniKhuphe. ZPP has failed to get in touch with Deputy President Khuphe. The bone of contention is who chairs Bulawayo province. According to Hon Sibanda Deputy President Khuphe supports Deputy Mayor Gift Banda for the position. Hon Sibanda reports she now lives in fears for the safety of her children.
Figure 4: Hate message written to DorcasSibanda
Zanu PF held a rally on 25 May in ward 32 where youths were told to go and occupy Mhandara farm which is 5km from Headlands towards Mutare. The farm is currently occupied by Mapuranga who was barred from contesting the primary elections against Christopher Chingosho.
Zimbabwe Peace Project notes with concern that politically motivated human rights violations continue unabated in Hurungwe West. ZPP also notes intra party conflicts that are bedeviling the MDC-T. It is unacceptable for citizens to be subjected to malicious damage to property which endangers not just the targeted individual but puts an entire family at risk. The use of hate graffitti is a violation of human rights.
The ZPP appeals to the concerned parties in both Zanu PF and MDC-T to encourage their supporters to desist from perpetrating violence rather to exercise restraint and realise that every citizen of this country has rights that have to be respected.
ZPP is a non partisannon governmental organisation that monitors and documents violations of