Stung by significant inroads made by the MDC-T in Zvimba, gangs of ZANU PF youths are turning Robert Mugabe's home district into a no-go zone.
For two weeks in a row elements in ZANU PF, aided by state security agents and soldiers, have blocked the MDC-T from holding rallies in Darwendale and Zvimba. On both occasions Tendai Biti, the Secretary-General of the party, was scheduled to address the rallies.
While the rally in Darwendale last week was disrupted by soldiers, Sunday's planned gathering was cancelled at the behest of Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, according to the Zvimba Rural District Council acting chief executive officer Prince Mhembere. Chombo is the ZANU PF MP for the neighboring Zvimba North constituency.
Paradzai Herbert Munangatire, the MDC-T information and publicity secretary for Zvimba West told SW Radio Africa that they had secured police clearance to hold their rally at Murombedzi growth point.
'When we were in the middle of setting up the venue, we sensed trouble was brewing when hordes of people just invaded the pitch and started verbally abusing us and blocking our supporters from coming in. Some youths started playing football and the area just became very tense.
'At some point we were pelted with stones and quite a number of our supporters were injured, and the violence continued into the night when one of our senior district officials was stabbed and left for dead,' Munangatire said.
Munangatire added that Sunday was a sad day for politics and democracy in Zimbabwe, especially as the disturbances took place on Mugabe's doorstep.
'Everybody knows who is responsible for the violence and grievous attacks on our members and no one will dare investigate what happened because this is Mugabe's home area.
'I think the resurgence of political violence is an attack on the country's fledgling democracy and the right of the people to civil liberty and freedom of association,' Munangatire said.