AS Zanu PF primary election wars intensify countrywide, a senior war veterans leader in Beitbridge district was last week briefly detained for allegedly disturbing a political rally Home Affairs
minister Kembo Mohadi was addressing.
The incident occurred on Saturday at Dite business centre where Mohadi was addressing a campaign rally to boost his chances of retaining the Beitbridge parliamentary seat.
Witnesses said the war veteran, Samuel Mlaudzi, was manhandled by Mohadi’s personal bodyguards and party youths. He was saved from beating by police details who locked him away in the back of a police vehicle for the duration of the three-hour meeting.
“Mohadi was livid when he saw Mlaudzi who was among the crowd that attended his campaign rally and he allegedly ordered party youths and the police to take him away,” an eyewitness said.
Mohadi is alleged to have accused Mlaudzi of being part of a rival team that is campaigning for former Beitbridge district administrator, Edson Mbedzi, who is eyeing Mohadi’s seat.
Mohadi allegedly charged that Mlaudzi was there to disrupt his meeting.
Mlaudzi, who is also the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association secretary for security in Beitbridge, confirmed his detentiion and said Mohadi was acting out of desperation.
“The incident is unfortunate coming from a government minister. It is fortunate that the police who were on duty were reasonable as Mohadi wanted me assaulted before my arrest,” said Mlaudzi.
Efforts to contact Mohadi proved fruitless as he was said to be on leave in his constituency in Beitbridge.
This is not the first time that Mohadi has been accused of abusing his position to fix political opponents.
In August acting Bulawayo provincial administrator, Mbedzi, alleged that Mohadi had ordered his arrest on allegations of stealing farm equipment worth millions of dollars and for allocating himself land in a fraudulent manner.
However Mbedzi was acquitted after the courts ruled that the charges could not be substantiated. Mbedzi and a Beitbridge headmaster, Ntshaveni Simutha, have openly declared their interest to wrest the seat from Mohadi.
War veterans have vowed to take on senior party officials in primary elections scheduled for December. This has caused discomfort among the party leaders.