ZANU PF acting commissar Patrick Chinamasa has defended an attack on MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa by ZANU PF supporters in Masvingo Province on Monday.
Chamisa and his team were attacked again on Tuesday by ruling party supporters, who barricaded roads to deny his convoy access to a local village.
A group of about 200 ZANU PF supporters brandishing placards were gathered, denouncing Chamisa for the sanctions imposed by the West on the country and damaged five cars and injured five opposition supporters.
The opposition leader is currently undertaking community interface meetings around the country as he mobilises support ahead of the 2023 elections.
Addressing the media at the party’s headquarters in Harare on Tuesday, Chinamasa claimed Chamisa had tried to force ZANU PF supporters to listen to him resulting in the attack. He said:
What I heard happened in Masvingo was that the opposition leader wanted to force himself on an audience that did not want to listen to him.
He had no right to force people to listen to him. He had a right to address people but only those who were willing to be addressed by him.
In this case, my information is that the villagers did not want to be addressed by him for obvious reasons.
If you listen to a madman, you become part of his cast, you will be portrayed as part of his cast, he will then go ahead and say, I have lots of support, which he does not have.
So our ZANU PF people have a right to say, we don’t want you to address us, we don’t want to, it’s my right, but if you force me to listen to you, I have reason to be angry.
Chinamasa did not, however, explain why the police teargassed Chamisa at a private residence, how the villagers acquired the neatly printed placards or what they were doing, uninvited, at MDC Alliance gatherings.
He also claimed that Chamisa and his entourage fired guns into the air to try and scare away ZANU PF supporters.
ZANU PF initially claimed the protest was stage-managed, through the party’s director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi and Information Ministry secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana.
They claimed that the MDC Alliance wanted to draw the attention of the United Nations Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan who is scheduled to visit Zimbabwe to assess the impact of sanctions on the country from 18 to 28 October.