KWEKWE – Zanu PF thugs armed with rocks, iron bars, machetes and spears attacked a Citizens Coalition for Change rally on Sunday (CCC) in Kwekwe, killing at least one person and injuring 17 others.
CCC spokesman Fadzayi Mahere said the male victim was stabbed in the chest with a spear.
She pointed an accusing finger at the ruling party, Zanu PF, which had held its rally in the same town 24 hours earlier.
“At least 17 people were hospitalized while one person sadly lost his life following an orgy of violence by Zanu PF thugs. They used spears, machetes and iron bars. We condemn the regime’s use of violence against our members,” Mahere said.
“The deceased was stabbed in the side. The Zanu PF thug used a javelin.”
The attack came as CCC chief Nelson Chamisa was addressing thousands of people gathered in an open square near a shopping mall.
The attack caused a small stampede as thousands of people fled the attackers, who launched their attack on people standing in the back.
Chamisa’s security moved in to secure him before returning to the podium to finish his speech.
The 44-year-old leader then took the time to visit the injured who were being treated at the scene.
It was the second time in two days that the Chamisa rally was disrupted.
On Saturday, police fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse his supporters in Gokwe, prompting him to cancel a planned campaign rally to rally support for his party’s candidates ahead of the March 26 by-elections.
Blocking the event, the police argued that they did not have enough “manpower” to handle it.
“No convincing explanation has been given as to why our gatherings are banned, but (Mr Mnangagwa’s gatherings are allowed to continue,” Mahere said.
Sunday’s attack was attributed in part to inflammatory remarks by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who compared CCC supporters to “lice” on Saturday and suggested they were “crushed”.
“I’ve heard others here chanting down with CCC, I can assure you it can’t accomplish anything. Do you know how you smash lice with a rock? They put it on a flat rock and flatten it enough so that even the flies won’t eat it,” Chiwenga said.
The retired army commander said the Zanu PF was as big as the Biblical Goliath and would not allow Chamisa to take power in an election.
Ironically, the biblical Goliath was defeated with a stone by a young David.
“You have heard Blessing Chebundo say here that people should not oppose on behalf of the opposition. You can’t always disagree. Who are you against? We are as big as Goliath, we will see that when the time comes.”