Harare—Ruling Zanu PF supporters on Tuesday attacked five Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) members in Epworth for wearing their party regalia in public.
The victims successfully filed a block report against the known assailants and the case is expected in court once the attackers have been arrested.
The incident—Report Received Book number 5639026—happened at the Overspill shops in Epworth and was reported at the Dombo police station in the sprawling settlement.
Curiously, details who are investigating the matter reportedly instructed senior Zanu PF members in the area to bring the assailants to them.
NewsHub identified the victims as four women—Ndomupei Machoba, Rujeko Chaparamhosva, Agnes Chiwashira and Agnes Mabhena—and one man, Rogers Nyamupondiwa.
Their ages could not be immediately ascertained.
One of the victims, Agnes Mabhena, said they were assaulted on their way from the funeral of a fellow CCC member identified only as Solomon.
“Trucks full of Zanu PF supporters were passing by. The supporters were singing and chanting their party slogans and some of them had come from as far as Mbare,” she said.
She said a man identified only as Mahachi from Stodart in Mbare disembarked from one of vehicles, a Quantum, and assaulted the four women with open hands.
“He clapped (assaulted with open hands) my colleague called Chihera on her face first, shouting that the regalia she was wearing was not acceptable and must not be worn in Epworth. He then turned on the rest of us. I ran away and tried crossing the road but he caught up with me and assaulted me with a wire and fists. His colleagues then joined him,” she said.
The assailants grew in number and they indiscriminately attacked anyone seen wearing yellow, which has grown to be associated with CCC.
Another witness who identified herself as Chengetai confirmed that the women were attacked in Overspill for wearing CCC regalia.
“They were told that campaigning for CCC was unheard of in Epworth and they should stop it,” said the witness.
The injured CCC victims sustained bruises and they were taken to Queensdale Clinic in nearby Hatfield where they treated and discharged.
Initially, the case was supposed to be heard at the Harare Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, but the victims were advised that it had been shifted to Friday.
Late Thursday, though, the CCC supporters were informed that the alleged assailants had not been arrested, so the case would likely go to court next Monday.
The Zanu PF director for publicity, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, requested questions in writing but he had not responded by the time of publishing.
There have been numerous pockets of violence in the run-up to the 2023 general elections, despite calls for peace by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Recently, the Tourism deputy minister and Zanu PF member of parliament for Chirumanzu, Barbara Rwodzi, was captured on audio harassing a mid-rank police officer, Assistant Inspector Chester Matsa of Charandura police station in the Midlands province for investigating a Zanu PF supporter who reportedly burnt CCC campaign posters.
The police have said they are investigating the matter in which the deputy minister used abusive language in a phone call to Matsa.
Matsa, however, has since been transferred from Chirumanzu to nearby Shurugwi, according to media reports.
A recent video that went viral showed a member of the Frelimo party in Mozambique threatening people in Chipinge South, Manicaland, with murder if they voted the opposition in the coming elections.
Journalists have not been spared.
Three Bulawayo-based freelance journalists were this week assaulted by alleged Zanu PF members while covering public disorder in the second capital.
Annastacia Ndlovu, Pamenus Tuso and Lungile Ndlovu were beaten up while interviewing vendors who had been assaulted for “being disloyal to Zanu PF” and they were told to delete their footage.
The US embassy in Zimbabwe called on relevant authorities to investigate and bring the assailants to account.
Wrote the embassy: “All civic actors must to do their part to ensure the election season is non-violent in words and actions.”