Former ZANU PF Manyame district chairperson, Tina Gweshe, who died on Sunday is believed to have been poisoned after she attended a party last week.
Her death came hours after another ZANU PF leader, George Murambatsvina, the ZANU PF chairman for Nyatsime, had also died under unclear circumstances.
Reports suggest that the duo was part of the ruling party’s members who blocked some members of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) from attending a memorial service for their slain colleague, Moreblessing Ali.
The blockade resulted in chaos in the area and Murambatsvina’s house was set ablaze by alleged CCC supporters. He is said to have suffered serious injuries and stress from the violent incident. ZANU PF retaliated in the evening of the same day two weeks ago by burning 26 homes of people perceived to be supporters of the CCC.
Some believe the deaths are caused by the vengeful spirit of Moreblessing Ali whom the CCC claims was killed by ZANU PF members including Pius Mukandi alias Jamba who has since been arrested over the matter.
Some claim that ZANU PF was killing its members to get rid of evidence that could suggest the murder was politically-motivated.
Ali was abducted outside a nightclub in Nyatsime on May 14 and her mutilated remains were discovered on the 11th of June in a disused well at a farm in Beatrice, about 10km away from where she was taken.
The Herald yesterday visited the area where ZANU PF supporters were mourning their two leaders.
Most of the supporters emphasised the need for peace and warned CCC members against perpetrating violence. The supporters also held a peaceful demonstration at Chibhanguza Shopping Centre where they castigated the opposition supporters including their leader Nelson Chamisa.
They were holding placards with some of the messages reading, “CCC is responsible for the death of our chairman Murambatsvina”, “Job Sikhala uri mhondi kupisa dzimba dzedu”, and “Mhondi ngadzisungwe”.
There was also a heavy police presence in a bid to ensure that law and order is maintained.
In an interview, ZANU PF Councillor for Ward 9 in Seke Constituency, Masimbi Masimbi, confirmed that Murambatsvina had been suffering from stress after his house was burnt down. The Herald quotes Masimbi as saying:
After his house was burnt down by CCC hooligans, he was affected by stress and that is when he collapsed last night before we ferried him to hospital where he later passed on.
It is however disheartening to note that this violent incident, which is against the wishes of our leader President Mnangagwa who has always been preaching the need for peace, has affected Cde Murambatsvina.
Murambatsvina’s brother, Mr Paul Murambatsvina, said they had lost a breadwinner who was taking care of the family.
Kudzanai Kavhukatema, the youth chairperson for Manyame district, said they were still shocked by the death of Murambatsvina adding that the deceased had not been well following the violence a fortnight ago.
Mercy Vengesai said they were now living in fear since most of the people in the area have been receiving threats from CCC supporters.
Chairperson for Chaminuka Central in Nyatsime, Getrude Kwira said:
Since the violent incident, all has not been well in this area and this has led to the death of our two senior officials. Cde Murambatsvina died of stress while our former chairlady died in mysterious circumstances. She was left at her home while not feeling well and we suspect that she was poisoned.
Paradzai Mhondiwa, the youth chairman for Chaminuka Central District, said they hope the law will take its course on those arrested for perpetrating violence and that police will also arrest those that are still outstanding.
Among the arrested are CCC legislators, Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole. Both deny the charges through defence lawyers Jeremiah Bamu and Alec Muchadehama who say the charges against their clients were a creation by the state.