- Nyamucherera’s arrest comes hardly a week after Zanu PF Politburo member Simbarashe Mumbengegwi recently told a provincial coordinating committee meeting in Gweru that the ruling party was going to heavily descend on the instigators of the violence that led to the abandonment of the intra-party elections.
By Andrew Murenha
POLICE in Kwekwe yesterday launched a comeback and swooped on the campaign manager of Kwekwe central aspiring parliamentarian Energy “Dhala” Ncube, who is a close relative of State Security Minister Owen “Mudha” Ncube.
The city’s Ward 6 Councillor Macleen Nyamuchera, the only Zanu-PF Councillor in the town of 14 wards, was arrested in connection with the violence that rocked the Zanu-PF primary elections and led to top party officials running away from their own violent youths.
Nyamuchera leads the campaign team for aspiring MP Energy ‘Dhala’ Ncube, whose supporters have been fingered by the ruling party’s bigwigs as being behind the skirmishes that saw provincial chairperson Engineer Daniel Mackenzie Ncube and other leaders scurrying for dear life three weeks ago.
The ruling party has since shelved the primaries after the violence which started off with Ncube’s supporters, mainly youths, accusing the local Zanu-PF leadership of attempting to rig the primary in favour of an older rival, Kandros Mugabe.
Mugabe, a well-heeled politician and church leader with loads of funds at his disposal, was reportedly on the verge of upstaging his younger rival Energy “Dhala” Ncube when the youths stopped the vote count and unleashed terror.
Both Mugabe, who represented Zanu-PF in Kwekwe Central and lost the 2018 elections to NPF candidate Masango Matambanadzo, has denied accusations of involvement in rigging. The ruling party’s presiding team officials are also on record denying ever conniving with Mugabe or anyone to influence the vote.
Nyamucherera’s arrest comes hardly a week after Zanu PF Politburo member Simbarashe Mumbengegwi recently told a provincial coordinating committee meeting in Gweru that the ruling party was going to heavily descend on the instigators of the violence that led to the abandonment of the intra-party elections.
Mackenzie also said he was prepared to step down if he, indeed, was responsible for the chaotic scenes which characterized the aborted primaries.
The intra-party violence is said to have taken President Emmerson Mnangagwa by shock as Kwekwe is his home town, where he spends weekends and annual holidays at his nearby farm.
Zanu-PF sources say President Mnangagwa called Mackenzie Ncube in connection with the chaotic scenes and subsequent abandonment of the elections, and demanded the immediate dismissal of whichever candidate responsible for the violence that rocked the party’s district headquarters.
MacKenzie is said to have told the President that his powers were limited to only calling off the elections, but would enquire with both candidates’ campaign teams and find out the culprits and send a report to the office of Zanu-PF National Secretary for the Commissariat, Victor Matemedanda.
“What became suspicious and complicated matters for the “Dhala” team is that all his campaign team evaded Mackenzie Ncube’s probe team and went into hiding at Minister Owen Ncube’s farm,” said a source inside the party’s Kwekwe district leadership. “In contrast, Kandros Mugabe’s team availed themselves before the probe team and denied any hand in the skirmishes.”
Minister Owen Ncube is on record denying that any youths took refuge at his farm, and challenged anyone who knew contrary to make a police report.
Daniel Mackenzie Ncube has reportedly finished his report which nailed Energy “Dhala” Ncube’s campaign team for the violence, sources told the Zimbabwe Voice. The report is said to contain affidavits by party youths confessing they were paid to unleash terror should the vote appear to go “the other way”.
It is believed the police arrested Nyamuchera basing on some of the leads from the signed affidavits.
Mackenzie Ncube was asked by the provincial members last weekend in Gweru to give an account of what transpired on the day said he was shocked to see what were supposed to be party members slashing party vehicles and smashing windscreens.
He said together with some provincial leaders who included his deputy Robson Nyathi they were even pelted with stones.
“But these were not the usual guys I know. I didn’t know these youths and the situation was tense I tell you. We were afraid because they were so rowdy. But what I know is there is a serious problem there.
“Maybe I am the problem and if so, remove me and the problem will be gone. Maybe there are other sources of the problem and similarly, the sources must be removed because we can’t be associated with violence at whatever stage,” said Ncube.
He said Zanu-PF was an institution which is bigger than individuals who were causing the problems in Kwekwe Central.
“The party is bigger than us and fact is we can’t brush aside what happened in Kwekwe Central. If I made a mistake then, I should be brought to order and if it’s anyone who made the mistake, they should be brought to order.
“At the end of the day we must have answers to this. As chairman I can’t say I have put a committee because we might be investigating ourselves. So, we refer this to the commissariat so that our leaders investigate us because we can’t pretend it didn’t happen.
“Since when have we started hiring people because we want to force our way? Not, it’s not called for,” said Ncube.
The Kwekwe central seat fell vacant following the death of Matambanadzo in July this year.
The Zanu-PF candidate will square of with Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance Judith Tobaiwa, daughter of the town’s former Mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa. Tobaiwa triumphed in the recently held MDC-A primaru polls, beating heavyweights who included former Health minister Dr Henry Madzorera and ex-Kwekwe MP Blessing Chebundo.
Also eyeing the Kwekwe central parliamentary seat is MDC-T candidate Mbekezeli Ndlovu, a former Kwekwe City Councillor.
Meanwhile, police have not been forthcoming with confirmation of “Dhala” Ncube’s campaign frontman. – Zimbabwe Voice ■