Pre-Election Violence Erupts in Zimbabwe

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Zanu PF’s factional fights turned nasty last week, as pockets of violence break out ahead of 2018 General Elections. A Gokwe-Mapfungautsi legislator, Mirriam Makweya, linked to Team Lacoste, allegedly unleashed youths on the Ward 23 Councillor, Joseph Chipato, associated with G40.

Team Lacoste is a moniker given to an alleged grouping of Zanu PF supporters fronting Vice President, Emerson Mnangagwa, to succeed President Robert Mugabe, while G40 is said to be composed of young Turks who want the first lady, Grace Mugabe, to take over her husband.

Ugly scenes began after the distribution of government-donated rice at the Nyarupakwe business centre that left Chipato and his wife hospitalised after their house was razed by fire. Property worth hundreds of dollars was destroyed and $1,000 were lost.

Makweya’s alleged foot soldiers John Nzembe, Ephraim Kapondora, and Naison Mahembe, forced Chipato to his home at Sefa to collect the Gokwe Rural District Council date stamp.

According to Councillor Chipato, a teacher from Gwamure school was later forced to ferry the youths, and they were bundled into the vehicle by 20 youths who immediately broke into revolutionary songs. Upon arrival, Aleck Mpala and Anyway Karera broke the door and ransacked the house, took a date stamp, confidential council documents, and cash.

“We were forced back into the vehicle but, after a short drive to Mudzongwe River, we were ordered to disembark, and given a thorough beating. My wife was molested after they stripped her naked,” he said.

The Midlands Provincial Police spokesperson, Ethel Mukwende, could not comment on the matter as she was attending a meeting in Kwekwe, but promised to check with her Gweru office.

Makweya refuted her involvement, saying they may have their own internal disagreements, but would never outright fight them.

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