Violence rocked the new ZANU PF provincial joint council of the main wing, women’s and youth leagues’ inaugural meeting held in Chinhoyi Saturday.
The meeting was meant to officially hand over the reins of power to newly-elected chairpersons of the three-party organs voted during recent elections that were characterised by rigging allegations.
The Indaba held at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) gym hall started off later than scheduled before violence broke out just as proceedings were about to start.
This was after Mashonaland West Provincial Minister, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka won the chairmanship had instructed party security and police officers to allow only listed “winners” from the recent elections and bar the rest of party members.
Timothy Masviba from Chegutu district, who later on had his car tyres deflated by opponents, sparked the chaos insisting all participants of the polls were eligible to attend the meeting.
Chaos ensued for close to 20 minutes as security details struggled to fend off resistance from Masviba and other members who wanted to force through into the venue.
Mliswa-Chikoka had to personally intervene to cool down tempers after it became apparent the meeting would not proceed and ordered police to close the door.
The meeting went ahead amid numerous complaints about the list of winners, the highlight being an objection by Agriculture Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos questioning the ‘ghost’ identity of one Jessie Banda, who was listed as having won in Muzvezve constituency. Haritatos said:
With all due respect, on the list of winners that you have just read out, there is a character called Jessie Banda who is said to have won in Muzvezve. We don’t know a person called Jessie Banda and where they come from. We recently convened a meeting of chairpersons from Muzvezve and no one said they knew this Jessie Banda, we are baffled where that name came from, it needs to be replaced by someone identifiable we know won in the elections.
The chaos continued during the allocation of other posts that constitute the provincial executive membership, with Mliswa-Chikoka taking the flak for trying to impose her preferred candidates.
The meeting ended late at night way after some members had left.