FIVE opposition Movement for Democratic Change activists are recovering from wounds sustained when violence erupted outside the nomination court ahead of a by-election in K
adoma at the end of this month.
In a statement, the MDC said the five activists, Calisto Tsvangirai, Regis Kamuswe, Claudius Chagadama, Hubert Gava and Daniel Dauya, were abducted, severely assaulted and dumped at various points in and outside the city late last month.
Chagadama and Dauya sustained deep axe-inflicted wounds on their heads after they were attacked by marauding Zanu PF youths.
The Kadoma Central parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of MDC MP Austin Mupandawana in August. Zanu PF candidate Tichafa Mutema will battle it out with the MDC’s Charles Mupandawana.
The MDC struggled to register its candidates in the mayoral and council elections last month because of Zanu PF intimidation. Candidates in Chinhoyi failed to register altogether and were automatically disqualified.
In Kadoma, Zanu PF youths are said to have blocked the entrance to the nomination court for the MDC election agent, Felix Zifunzi.
The statement said although the MDC candidate had submitted his nomination papers before the deadline, party officials and supporters still wanted to ensure the papers had been accepted by the nomination court.
“Zifunzi forced his way into the nomination court despite efforts to prevent him from doing so by Zanu PF supporters manning the entrance to the nomination court, but he was pushed out by uniformed police officers as Zanu PF supporters shouted that he had to be abducted,” said the statement.
The MDC said Zanu PF supporters started chasing away opposition activists who were waiting outside the nomination court building. MDC youths moved in to protect female activists and violence erupted. MDC spokesperson Paul Themba Nyathi accused the ruling party of using unorthodox means to cling on to power.
“The country is being held to ransom by a party with no capacity to subject itself to basic principles of democracy and the electoral process,” said Nyathi.
“There is a primitive belief in Zanu PF that areas like Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Central are no go areas for democracy,” he said.