Masimirembwa hit with chair at Zanu PF HQ over ‘vote rigging’

HARARE – Zanu PF’s chairman for Harare province Goodwills Masimirembwa had a chair thrown at him during preparations for chaotic district elections held last weekend, a court heard on Wednesday.

Masimirembwa’s deputy Godwin Gomwe appeared in court charged with assault over the September 24 incident.

Gomwe, who is accused of throwing the chair which left Masimirembwa with a scratch on his leg, was remanded to October 25 for trial by Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi.

The National Prosecuting Authority alleged that Masimirembwa chaired a Zanu PF provincial meeting at the party headquarters in Harare to discuss impending district elections.

Gomwe arrived as the meeting was ending at around 1.15PM and immediately complained that the meeting was held without him being notified.

Masimirembwa, the court heard, advised Gomwe that notice of the meeting was sent through a Whatsapp message.

Gomwe allegedly accused Masimirembwa of creating fictitious party districts to facilitate the rigging of internal elections in favour of Harare’s minister of state, Oliver Chidau, in forthcoming Zanu PF provincial elections.

Gomwe is alleged to have shouted:”Ndirikuda kukumamisa Masimirembwa. Urikuda kuriga maelections uchiitira Chidau kuti aite chairman. Ndoda kukuputitsa zidumbu iroro (I will pummel you Masimirembwa. You want to rig elections for Chidau so that he becomes chairman. I will pop that large belly).”

Gomwe allegedly picked up a chair and threw it onto the legs of the Masimirembwa, who was seated. The chair, which is held as an exhibit, caused a scratch to Masimirembwa’s right leg, according to the prosecution.

Zanu PF is still dealing with the fallout from last weekend’s district elections amid widespread allegations of vote manipulation. Violent scenes were witnessed in the Midlands, Mashonaland Central and Manicaland as officials clashed during the divisive vote.

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