Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Bulawayo Youth assembly have described as Gukurahundi second phase the alleged attack of the Ntabazinduna traditional chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni by the Zanu PF militia yesterday in Bulawayo.
Chief Ndiweni has emerged as a government critic whose remarks on President Mnangagwa and calling for sanctions have both irked ruling party and government officials with the defense deputy minister Victor Matemadanda unleashing venom to the chief charging that he had started the fire he would not be able to quench.
Barely a week after Matemadanda’s statement, Ndiweni is alleged to have been mobbed by Zanu PF rowdy youths who assaulted and threatened to hijack his vehicle on the grounds that he opposes the state and that he advocated for sanctions against his own country.
Addressing the media in Bulawayo today, MDC provincial youth secretary general Pashor Sibanda said the attack of chief Ndiweni yesterday by suspected Zanu PF youths was like rubbing salt into a bleeding wound as memories of Gukurahundi remain fresh among the Matebele people.
“The attack of chief Ndiweni by suspected Zanu PF thugs is a clear statement by the Mnangagwa regime of their intention to continue to pursue their Gukurahundi agenda which Mr Mnangagwa himself led in the early 1980s as a way of silencing progressive voices.
“As the MDC Bulawayo youths assembly, whoever attacks the Rekayi Tangwena of our generation is our enemy,” he said.
The youth assembly further said chief Ndiweni has been targeted by the ruling party because of his hardline stance in support of the Matebele people whose duty as a custodian of customary laws must be respected even if people share different ideologies.
“We may have different ideologies but chief Ndiweni is our chief he must be respected. We have no doubt that the great chief Ndiweni is being harassed by Zanu PF because of his strong support of his people. He stands with the people he leads. He feels the pain of his people,” Sibanda added.
Chief Ndiweni’s whereabouts is not known as he is reported to have gone into hiding fearing for his life.
263Chat could not establish Chiefs council president Fortune Charumbira’s side on Chief Ndiweni’s matter as his mobile phone failed to go through several times.
However, Zanu PF youth Secretary Pupurai Togarepi told 263Chat Thursday afternoon that his office was no aware of the alleged attack of the Ntabazinduna chief saying until he establishes from his party youth structures in Bulawayo he is taking Ndiweni’s saga with a pinch of salt.
“I am not aware of that. What l know is Chief Ndiweni has been calling for sanctions against Zimbabwe and on numerous occasions insult the Government of Zimbabwe. I am yet to check with my structures as I am out of the country. Looking at a clip doing rounds on social of him calling for sanctions I will be forgiven to suspect that he is stage managing these allegations,” he said.
Early this week, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Nick Mangwana described Chief Ndiweni’s call for sanctions on Zimbabwe as misplaced and that his political narratives lately were in contrast to his customary duties.
Zanu PF has been for a long time accused of corrupting traditional chiefs employing them in rural areas as strategic commissars particularly during the election campaign seasons a practice which is wholly against the constitution which instructs the traditional leaders to be apolitical.
A case in point is that of Charumbira who has been dragged to court by the Election Resources Centre (ERC) for unapologetically declared his support to the ruling party in the run up to the 2018 general elections and beyond.
The court ordered the chiefs council president to retract his allegiance to Zanu PF but he did not comply.