Gold panners arrested over Kwekwe violence

Five suspected gold panners allegedly employed to disrupt Zanu PF primary elections for Kwekwe Central over the weekend have been arrested, as investigations into the incident continue.

The primary elections had to be cancelled after rowdy youths armed with machetes and iron bars stormed the command centre at the party’s Kwekwe district office and began to beat up everybody, together with polling agents.

Vehicles belonging to party officials, together with that of the provincial deputy chairperson Cde Rabson Nyathi, who was presiding were damaged.

Two aspiring candidates, Cde Kandros Mugabe and Cde Energy Ncube, had been battling it out to represent the party in the Kwekwe Central seat left vacant following the death of Mr Masango Matambanadzo of the National Patriotic Front in July this year.

Zanu PF Midlands provincial spokesperson Cde Cornelius Mpereri yesterday confirmed the arrest of the 5 suspects, saying the party was helping the police with investigations.

“There are suspects who have since been arrested following the disturbances on Sunday, however you can verify with the police for the names,” he stated.

“I’m not in the office at the moment. We are a peaceful party and we continue to work with the police as we seek to bring the perpetrators of the violence to book.”

In the meantime, Cde William Gondo will represent Zanu PF in the Mkoba constituency by-election in Gweru after he won the party primary elections, which ran late into the night on Sunday.

There were 4 other candidates who contested within the party primary elections.

Cde Gondo, who runs a number of private schools in Gweru got 358 votes, while his closest rival, Cde Charles Simbi got 287.

One other contestant and former magistrate Mr Thomas Militao got 14 votes, while Cde Rosemary Vundla got 43 votes.

Cde Basilton Sikhosana did not get a single vote.

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