THERE was chaos at the Zanu PF victory celebrations in Shurugwi South constituency held at Dorset business centre at the weekend after party supporters and other villagers accused their leadership of selling farming equipment meant for a community project to fund the bash.
BY BRENNA MATENDERE
The celebrations were held to mark Zanu PF’s victory in the constituency where party cadre Edmund Mukaratigwa won the July 30 polls for the Shurugwi South parliamentary seat against MDC Alliance’s Oceard Mutunami and Daniel Mabonga.
Harsh words were exchanged while some villagers nearly exchanged blows during what was supposed to be a merry-making event.
Chaos broke out when word circulated that the bash that saw two cattle being slaughtered, among other freebies, had been funded by money realised from the sale of farming equipment belonging to Vimbanai Co-operative, considered a lifeline for villagers in the resettlement area of Dorset since independence.
The villagers accused Shurugwi South Zanu PF district chairperson Noel Mposi for the mess.
“The villagers were simply angry because Mposi had openly admitted the scandal and told the people that he had sold the equipment in order to ensure that there was a successful victory celebration. However, he did not consult anyone on what he did. People who were not happy about that were further incensed when they discovered that the chairperson only used a small amount of money at the event from the sale of the equipment because other Zanu PF leaders had made donations. The rest of the money went to his personal use,” said a source who attended the celebrations.
Another source revealed that the equipment for the cooperative belonged to all the villagers who were part of the project and was not supposed to be mixed with any political party interest.
“People from diverse political parties make up membership of the co-operative. Accordingly, people were angry to find out that Zanu PF, through its chairperson had sold the equipment. That is what caused the chaos,” said the source.
Mposi, however, defended the sale of the farm equipment and blamed MDC Alliance supporters for the chaos at the celebrations.
He claimed that he had consulted people from 14 villages who gave him the nod to sell the equipment, which he described as obsolete.
“You can talk to the person who bought that scrap metal. It was scrap and was not expensive at all. People from both MDC (Alliance) and Zanu PF were invited to the celebrations so that they benefit from proceeds that came from sale of the equipment. Sadly, whenever we hold celebrations led by Zanu PF, MDC (Alliance) supporters always cause commotion,” he said.
However, Norman Pfeveni, the Shurugwi South MDC Alliance district chairperson, dismissed reports that it was his party’s supporters who had caused the chaos.
“The MDC (Alliance) supporters did not go the celebrations because they were not invited. It was a purely Zanu PF event. Whatever happened there was done by supporters of that party. Our supporters were just saddened by the abuse of the community project equipment, but they stayed at home,” he said.