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Parliamentary Election Candidates Clash in Mashonaland West

An upsurge of politically-motivated violent cases is being reported in some parts of the Mashonaland West province as contesting candidates accuse each other of pulling down opponents’ campaigning posters.

The most hit areas include Chinhoyi, Shackleton, Alaska, Lion’s Den, Banket and Mtorashanga.

Chinhoyi parliamentary candidate, Sibongile Mgijima, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation led by Professor Welshman Ncube, accuses activists from the Morgan Tsvangirai MDC and Zanu PF of pulling down her posters.

Peter Matarutse is standing on the MDC-T ticket and Philip Chiyangwa for Zanu PF in the hotly contested election.

Mgijima said what other parties are doing is “barbaric and uncivilized” as they fear competition.

The situation is worse in Mtorashanga where Zanu PF candidate Ignatius Chombo is squaring off with two women MDC-T’S Abigal Sauti and his ex-wife, Marian Chombo.

More than 20 farm workers at Winrey Farm were evicted allegedly at the instruction of Chombo on Monday.

Sauti said what pained her most is that the evictions followed a meeting where all contestants met with the police to discuss the election and the need to curtail violence.

In Lion’s Den the MDC-T’s aspiring council candidate, Christopher Makoni, claims to have been manhandled by the Zanu PF candidate at Murereka Police Station after reporting to the police that his posters were being pulled down.

Some Shackleton residents accuse Zanu PF members of threatening landlords for accommodating MDC-T members. They allegedly have instructed landlords to evict all perceived MDC-T supporters.

Kizito Zhambare is one such unfortunate lodger.

Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabweazara confirmed the police are investigating cases of political violence in Chinhoyi and Lion’s Den but refused to divulge details.

Mashonaland West provincial Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) provincial coordinator, Rangarirayi Basera, said JOMIC will hold some meetings in the affected areas with candidates and their campaigning teams.

The situation apparently deteriorated when President Robert Mugabe addressed a star rally at Chihoyi University of Technology grounds last Saturday.