HARARE – Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa on Monday told of his sorrow over the death of one of the party’s supporters during a rally in Kwekwe on Sunday, allegedly killed by a mob from the ruling Zanu PF.
Chamisa said 35-year-old father of one Mboneni Ncube was “a very important citizen whose life has been cut short by political intolerance and a culture of violence that has been promoted with impunity and immunity.”
Ncube had recently remarried following the death of his first wife, with whom he had an eight-year-old daughter, Chamisa said.
He was renting a single room in the suburb of Mbizo and worked as an artisanal miner, the CCC leader said.
“No life should be lost on account of political differences,” Chamisa told a news conference in Harare. “We stand in solidarity with the Ncube family. Mboneni was attacked with a spear. He was just trying to start a life. Why? Because of politics, because of impunity, because certain political leaders in Zanu PF are being allowed to turn Kwekwe into a terror zone.”
Chamisa branded President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration a “terrorist government” as he also announced his intention to write to SADC and the African Union urging them to monitor events in Zimbabwe closely.
“Violence is normally resorted to by the defeated and the losing. What is clear is that the writing is on the wall for Zanu PF, we are the next government in Zimbabwe,” Chamisa said.
Zimbabwe, he said, was “the only country where you will find people in government sponsoring, instructing and initiating murder and violence to transact politics, sponsoring terrorism.”
“In other countries they are struggling with terrorists who are trying to destabilise their governments. In Zimbabwe, it’s the government itself turning into a terrorist organisation and the citizens are trying to restrain their government from terrorist acts. Enough is enough, we cannot continue to lose political lives on account of politics.”
Chamisa said his supporters “must not be provoked”, insisting that the CCC had chosen “the highway to freedom on a platform of peace.”
“It’s not because we don’t have capacity (to be violent) like Zanu PF, but we are the alternative to Zanu PF and so we cannot copy them. We can’t be a replica of that which we are opposing.”
Chamisa was speaking from the podium on Sunday when more than a dozen thugs later identified as Zanu PF supporters launched an attack which left over 22 people injured and one person dead.
Police said they had made 16 arrests and were hunting for one Kennedy Simbi, believed to have fatally stabbed Ncube.
Kwekwe’s incident came just hours after police used dogs, tear gas and water cannons to disperse CCC supporters in Gokwe, another Midlands town, where Chamisa was due to speak. Police had cleared the event but later banned it, stating that they had no “manpower” after deploying officer to Kwekwe for Mnangagwa’s own rally.
The CCC candidate for Mbizo constituency Settlement Chikwinya said he was being barred by police and Zanu PF-linked militia groups from holding door-to-door campaigns and car rallies.
Chamisa said in the face of escalating political violence, a free and fair election would remain elusive in Zimbabwe.
Speaking directly to SADC leaders, he said: “We put SADC and the AU on notice that Zimbabwe is a powder keg about to explode. This will affect the region, it will cause instability. Your peace, our peace, the regional peace and security is under threat. We can’t have a repeat of 2008, we can’t have a repeat of the scenes in the region where there’s instability.”