INTRAPARTY violence in Zanu PF has escalated with the ruling party’s Manicaland chairman Mike Madiro saying he is still in shock after narrowly surviving an incident where party members attacked his vehicle and left his driver badly injured.
Madiro said the internal violence was due to infiltration into the party by aggrieved former members who are sponsoring certain candidates in the race for the provincial chairmanship in elections set for this week Tuesday.
The internal elections are so hotly contested that reports of intimidation and mudslinging, and outright violence are taking centre stage across provinces, particularly in Manicaland, Midlands, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central.
Madiro, whose political career was almost over but got a new lease of life when President Mnangagwa came into power in 2017, condemned the acts of violence and said he almost died together with his driver when their car came under heavy attack.
“The windscreen was shattered and the huge stones they threw almost hit the driver’s chest. He could have died had it not been for the steering wheel that blocked the stones. Our vehicle could have veered off the road and we could have all died in the vehicle,” Madiro told party supporters in Nyanga on Thursday.
“Four days ago, my deputy from Chipinge (Dorothy Mabika) was attacked and her vehicle stoned. On Wednesday, a party youth was attacked with a knife during a DC meeting in Mutasa.”
Madiro blamed the violence on party officials loyal to G40. The G40 was a faction fighting against Mnangagwa’s rise to power, but was vanquished when the military stepped in in November 2017.
“They are resorting to violence. Last week my official vehicle was stoned by people linked to an aspiring youth league chairman in the province.
“The attack was led by the gang linked to the same person wanting to be youth league provincial chairman. He is angry because, he says his victim is not supporting him
“The issue was reported to the police. The victim showed me where he was attacked using a knife and his only crime was why he was not supporting one of the contestants.”
Madiro, who is also the Deputy Home Affairs Minister, added: “Those who are perpetrating this kind of violence should be warned that the law will soon catch up with you.”
He said Dorothy Mabika, the provincial vice chair, was also attacked by suspected fellow party members in Chimanimani West.
“I think you are all aware that I was attacked last month and yesterday (Saturday) our vice-chairperson Mabika was attacked as well at Chakohwa,” Madiro confirmed.
“Her car was ambushed at a certain turn-off near Chakohwa. I don’t think someone deserves to lose life due to internal party elections.”
Other top ruling party officials claim that Saviour Kasukuwere, a former Cabinet minister, was sponsoring the violence amid indications he is mulling a political comeback to take control of Zanu PF fro Mnangagwa.
The self-exiled Kasukuwere belonged to the G40 faction together with other self-exiled ex-Ministers Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao, Walter Mzembi and former First Lady Grace Mugabe.
Zanu PF Central committee member Moses Gutu, who was at the same in Nyanga meeting with Madiro, said the Zanu PF provincial elections were being turned violent by Kasukuwere’s agents.
“The one you are contesting against (for the youth league post) is a G40 proponent and works with Kasukuwere. He is Kasukuwere’s agent and runs service stations. If you vote for him, you are voting for Kasukuwere who wants to contest president Mnangagwa in 2023,” Gutu said.