Youth said to be members of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF party and those belonging to former Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First or ZimPF clashed on Tuesday in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West province, ahead of a ZimPF rally scheduled for Saturday.
A minibus in which the ZimPF youth were travelling in was impounded by suspected Zanu PF youth. The skirmishes that started at Shackelton suburb spread to the town’s central business district.
Indications are that four people were injured in the clashes between the rival party youth after Zanu PF youth conducted a door-to-door campaign to mobilize local people for their rally on Saturday.
Zanu PF is set to allocate residential stands to its party supporters on Saturday while Mrs. Mujuru’s party, will be holding a rally at Gadzema Grounds. Zanu PF is also planning to hold a rally on the same day near Gadzema Grounds.
One of the injured ZimPF youth, Kudzai Romani, said he was attacked by the suspected Zanu PF youth when he went to rescue a female party member.
Another ZimPF youth Patrick Tsomondo, who was also injured, said he was attacked when he went to retrieve keys of a minibus that was allegedly impounded by Zanu PF youth.
ZimPF provincial leader Prosper Gavanga blasted the police for allegedly taking sides with Zanu PF by failing to apprehend some of the ruling party supporters.
But Zanu PF member Tommy Mwanza, who was on the scene, defended his youth saying they were attacked while having their routine meetings.
Romani said they won’t be intimidated by the political disturbances as they are solidly supporting Mrs. Mujuru’s party.
Police were not readily available for comment.