Monday, 17 October 2016

FIVE ARRESTED AS NORTON VIOLENCE ESCALATES

INTERPARTY violence escalated in Norton yesterday, with an independent parliamentary candidate, Temba Mliswa sympathiser allegedly brutally assaulted by Zanu PF youths for allegedly making an offensive remark during a campaign rally addressed by the party’s national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere.

The attack occurred as the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has deployed its investigators to probe alleged cases of kidnappings and harassment of opposition activists in the sleepy town ahead of a by-election slated for Friday.

Zanu PF youths claimed the victim had uttered provocative words against the party’s candidate — Ronald Chindedza. “We know him, he is saying rubbish things against Chindedza and he should not be here,” shouted one of the ruling party youths during the melee.

On Saturday, supporters of both candidates fought running battles, with police after they clashed over use of Ngoni Stadium, resulting in the arrest of five of Mliswa’s supporters. Mliswa is enjoying the backing of opposition MDC-T and a group of disgruntled war veterans, who recently severed ties with the ruling party, accusing President Robert Mugabe of dictatorship.

Kasukuwere told the rally that Mliswa had triggered the Saturday violence, which left five of his supporters arrested.

“Mliswa is a problem child, he is a nobody, and he is a trouble causer,” Kasukuwere said.
“In Norton, you have never tasted a teargas attack until Mliswa came in. This place is largely known for peace, but now, because of Mliswa, there is violence. It is very unfortunate. We must not allow that small bull to win here, he is a lone bull without a kraal, and how can you vote for such a man?”

Mliswa yesterday accused police of taking sides with Zanu PF and blocking his campaign rally in defiance of a High Court he was armed with.

“The issue is that Zanu PF is running scared and they fear being outnumbered. Our rally had more than 3 000 people and they were less than 200. They should stop abusing the police and State institutions,” he said.

The Norton seat fell vacant when former Zanu PF MP Christopher Mutsvangwa was expelled from the party and recalled from Parliament. Newsday

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