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Violence Erupts in Zimbabwe’s Marondera Province

The succession of aging President Robert Mugabe has seriously divided the party. (Photo: AP)
The succession of aging President Robert Mugabe has seriously divided the party. (Photo: AP)

The usually sleepy town of Marondera was Tuesday literally on fire when it was rocked by two separate demonstrations - one that turned violent with protesters looting in the process.

The first protest was led by suspected war veterans, who carried placards denouncing Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairman, Ray Kaukonde.

Kaukonde, who was recently attacked by First Lady Grace Mugabe during her so-called meet the people rallies, was ousted by some members of the party’s executive but later reinstated.

The demonstrators, allegedly linked to the Emmerson Mnangagwa faction in Zanu PF, charged that Kaukonde was corrupt and should step down from his post. Kaukonde is believed to be in the camp supporting Vice President Joice Mujuru.

The demonstrators, who gathered outside the provincial Zanu PF headquarters, were addressed by senior Politburo member. Sydney Sekeremai, who tried to explain the procedures that need to be followed if Kaukonde is to be relieved of his post.

The other demonstration was led by angry residents, who carried placards denouncing the police for allegedly fatally assaulting a commutter bus operator after he failed to pay a $10 bribe for an alleged traffic offence.

Police officers also angered the protesters by refusing commuter bus operators and touts permission to carry his coffin through the town resulting in runnig battles and looting.

The three police officers who assaulted the commutter operator have been arrested and are in custody.

VOA Studio 7 spoke with Zimbabwe Human Rights Organization (ZIMRIGHTS director, Okay Machisa, who said the demonstrations left a young man injured.