MRP accuse Binga chief of blocking rally
Chief Sinamagonde of Binga South has been accused by the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) of attempting to prevent people from attending their rally in Chibila Village, Ward 22.
The police had cleared the rally for May 18, 2023, but MRP said Chief Sinamagonde instructed his headmen to arrange meetings in their separate villages to prevent villagers from attending their political gathering.
Chief Sinamagonde, however, has disputed and dismissed these claims, claiming that he cannot ban people from attending rallies if they so wish.
MRP’s council candidate Coaster Mathe claimed before the rally, Chief Sinamaginde started telling villagers not to attend their rally “because they must support Zanu PF.”
“Nothing can stop Mthwakazi from going ahead but it was challenging to have the rally, which was supposed to start at 9 am and end at 4 pm. Despite the chief’s efforts, we carried on with our rally with the people who were there,” he told CITE.
Chairperson of the MRP Youth League, Mudenda Chilumbo, also stated Chief Sinamaonde directed his headmen to detain people from 9 am to 3 pm so that they would not join their rally.
“There were eight meetings in one area so that people would be occupied but because the meetings had no agenda, some started protesting and others realised those meetings were a ploy to prevent them from coming to us,” he alleged.
“Some people then left the meetings while some headmen who sympathise with us told the villagers they were acting under the chief’s orders to keep them,” he said.
When contacted for a response, Chief Sinamagonde accused MRP of lying and attempting to smear his reputation.
“You must ask MRP if they came to me as chief of the area. Even after receiving police approval, they should have gone to me as the chief and informed me they will be meeting with people in the area,” he said.
The chief said he was clueless about the MRP’s rally but received calls from concerned people who told him that party officials were insulting him.
“I heard they were accusing me of withholding people from attending their rally,” Chief Sinamagonde said.
“I cannot deny anyone permission to attend rallies. As a chief, I lead everyone regardless of who they are. How can I block people if people are the ones who don’t want to go, must I force them to attend rallies?”
Chief Sinamagonde stated he does not engage in politics and wishes for his name not to be associated with such topics.
“I don’t know the intentions of MRP. When a party wants to have a rally, they must seek police clearance, as we don’t do politics but as the head of a place, it is right that I know what is happening in my area. Imagine when people gather and I as the chief didn’t know about that gathering,” he said.
“If MRP had done their rally and not insulted me, there would be no problem but they are the ones who are fighting me as they did not inform me but started attacking me while I have not blamed anyone. I don’t know why they insulted me. I am a new chief, I hold my own meetings as I am trying to revive village structures.”
This is not the first time the MRP has experienced such challenges, as in December last year, the party accused Chief Mzimuni Masuku of Gwanda of abusing his authority after he allegedly cancelled their rally that had been cleared by police.