Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members including legislators were attacked by suspected Zanu-PF youths in Matobo District yesterday while having a training meeting to capacitate polling agents at one of the homesteads in Tudi 2 village.
Matobo Ward 2 is set to have a by-election on Saturday to fill in the vacant council position following the death of Zanu-PF councillor Tom Moyo.
CCC candidate Sindiso Ngwenya will battle for the seat with Liberty Nyirongo of ZAPU and Fredrick Siwela of Zanu PF.
Speaking to CITE the victims said while they were in the middle of their meeting, they received information that the suspected Zanu-PF youths were looting alcohol and groceries at one of the shops owned by their chief election agent.
They sent a few members to go and check the situation and they were reportedly stoned.
“We sent a team of guys to go and inspect what was happening at the shop since it is closer to the homestead where we were and there were already some of our people who were already there, when they got there, they were beaten by Zanu-PF members who travelling in several vehicles,” said Nkulumane Member of Parliament, Kucaca Phulu, who was deployed to Matobo to campaign for the CCC candidate.
Phulu said when he tried to intervene but was also attacked and some gunshots were fired.
“Their plan was to come and attack us at the homestead where we were, so we had to go to them and find out what was happening and try to intervene. When I got there, I found Zanu-PF people shooting, we had to try to talk some sense to them but that didn’t work, we were assaulted,” he said.
The legislator said they were also attacked with sticks, stones and sjambok and they only survived by escaping.
“Some of our members have broken ribs and so forth, we are still doing medical checkups and they are getting treatment at the hospital,” said Phulu.
Meanwhile, ward 2 CCC aspiring candidate Sindiso Ngwenya said she was also safe.
Bulawayo East Member of Parliament, Ilos Nyoni said the Zanu-PF vehicles were marked with names of various provinces such as Mashonaland West, Midlands and Harare.
“This means these youths had been brought from areas outside Matobo ward 2. Kucaca Phulu and Nonhlanhla Mlotshwa and some of our members were assaulted by the marauding youths and had to retreat back to the homestead,” said Nyoni.
He said Phulu’s car was being pursued by several Zanu-PF vehicles and they drove past the homestead heading towards Gwanda.
“The rest of the Zanu-Pf thugs headed for the homestead and our members had to retreat into the field and bush area. Those caught were assaulted and their t-shirts forcefully taken.”
“At the homestead, the Zanu-PF thugs looted all the mealie-meal that was meant for distribution to our members, stole all meat and grocery. The vehicles that were parked within and outside the homestead had all their wheels punctured with a sharp instrument, windscreens and side windows broken including my own vehicle. All glass windows and glass doors at the homestead were broken,” said Nyoni.
He added that the Zanu-PF hooligans also stole money that was meant to purchase more stock for the grocery shop.
“The amount was US$1 000 and ZWL$8 000.”
Nyoni said the seriously injured were taken to Tshelanyemba hospital and one old man is still admitted with serious injuries.
“The damaged vehicles had to be towed to Bulawayo by a tow recovery truck. It appears this violence by Zanu-PF is meant to intimidate our voters to boycott voting so that they can have an easy win,” he said.