…as Acting Youth Chair produces gun
Chaotic scenes were reportedly witnessed on March 26, 2023 in Bikita West constituency after Acting Zanu PF Masvingo Provincial youth chairperson Delight Mandebvu allegedly produced a gun twice, threatening voters during the primary elections yet to be concluded.
Mandebvu who was reportedly pushing for incumbent MP Elias Musakwa is said to have threatened voters in ward 23, that is Duma location and ward 5 of the same Bikita West.
Contacted for comment Masvingo Zanu PF Provincial Chairperson Robson Mavhenyengwa declined to comment saying he was not authorized to do so by the party hierarchy.
“If you want news concerning these elections, let me refer you to Christopher Mutsvangwa (Zanu PF national spokesperson) or Mike Bimha (political commissar) as I am not allowed to comment on such,” said Mavhenyengwa.
Contacted to shed light on the allegations, Mandebvu said he was busy in a meeting and asked the reporter to contact him after an hour.
“I am busy in a meeting, maybe you can call me after an hour or so,” said Mandebvu.
After that one hour lapsed, Mandebvu was said to be still in the meeting by one identified as Shumba who returned the call.
Masvingo Provincial Police Spokesperson Kudakwashe Dhewa could not comment on the matter (by time of writing) saying the issue was yet to reach his office.
Sources privy to the on-goings however alleged Mandebvu who was moving around with the official Youth League Chair’s vehicle first produced the gun in ward 23 Duma location and voters had to disperse in fear for their lives.
“Yes, it’s true that Mandebvu produced a gun in Duma to scare people who had gathered to cast their votes in the primary elections and that was during a Women’s League event,” said the source.
Another source said Mandebvu arrived at a polling station in ward 5 leading a convoy of high-speeding cars before going on to chant slogans for his alleged preferred candidate Musakwa to which party members did not respond.
“Mandebvu came at a voting station in ward 5 leading a convoy of high speeding cars with him travelling in the official youth league vehicle. He started doing slogans like ‘Shudhu pashudhu’ that is known to be Musakwa’s mantra. People did not respond which likely triggered Mandebvu’s anger.
“Mandebvu and his companions started shouting at Bikita District Police Chief calling him a sell-out and accusing him of not knowing what he does. During the ensuing melee, another Zanu PF member was seen capturing the youth vehicle’s pictures and that angered Mandebvu who went to his vehicle and produced a gun and voters dispersed in fear,” said the source.
The incident is reported to have occurred during the presence of district chairperson Zvomunoda Taruona, provincial member Lloyd Svondo and several other party leaders from the district.
Reports of Mandebvu being beaten in ward 5 also surfaced though not verified.