HARARE – Former state security minister and Zanu PF top official, Owen Mudha Ncube has threatened opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and his party with violence he vowed shall be worse than the bloodbath experienced in the 2008 presidential run-off election.
The feared politician and ally to President Emmerson Mnangagwa was speaking at a Zanu PF campaign rally in Mberengwa, earlier this month, ahead of two by- elections later won by the ruling party in the Midlands area.
Ncube praised Mnangagwa for his “heroic” power grab from former State President Robert Mugabe 2017 while also ridiculing Chamisa.
Once linked to Al Shabaab, a notorious terror outfit which waged a reign of terror against Zanu PF opponents in Kwekwe, Ncube said in Shona, “I would like to assure Mberengwa residents, elders, those who listen and those who will be alive, that 2023 will be worse than 2008.
“We will not allow Nelson Chamisa, a stray cat, to take our inheritance.
“While Mnangagwa escaped a bomb attack, survived ice cream poisoning, and jumped the border, Chamisa has never done anything heroic.”
Zanu PF went on to win the by-elections held on October 8 in Mberengwa Wards 27 and 15 with allegations of vote buying and intimidation.
In the March 29, 2008 presidential election, then MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangarai garnered 47.9% of the national vote, while Mugabe trailed with 43.2%.
The inconclusive vote triggered a run-off poll whose campaign morphed into an orgy of violence against Zanu PF opponents.
Tsvangirai’s party claimed over 200 of its followers were killed with more maimed by alleged Zanu PF assailants in the infamous “long sleeve, short sleeve” shadowy campaign.
Long and short sleeves referred to the mysterious severing of limbs from victims’ arms as punishment for voting against Mugabe.
However, violence has returned to haunt the country as Zimbabwe gears for the 2023 elections widely viewed as a toss of the coin between bitter rivals Mnangagwa and Chamisa.
During the Mberengwa rally address, a Zanu PF leader identified as Mackenzie reiterated Ncube’s remarks that the ruling party would not tolerate Mberengwa residents who supported the CCC.
“You have been told that 2023 might be worse than 2008, be warned.
“We will not allow you to be traitors to the country for which the majority fought.
“During the liberation struggle, there were sellouts who were punished for their actions, and now their descendants want to rise and sell out,” said Mackenzie.
Since March this year, nearly all by-elections held have been marred by violence in which CCC accuses Zanu PF of instigating.
Last weekend, political violence erupted in Matabeleland South’s Matobo, and Insiza districts with dozens of opposition activists left nursing wounds sustained in the hands of alleged Zanu PF assailants.