The Herald (Harare)

12 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Kidnappings Surge Ahead of Poll

Photo: Tawanda Mudimu/The Herald
First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe (second from left) flanked by Women’s League boss Cde Oppah Muchinguri, Cde Ednah Madzongwe and Cde Olivia Muchena sing in Mazowe where a proposal was made for her to lead the Women’s.

Zanu-PF Secretary for Women's Affairs Cde Oppah Muchinguri yesterday said there were reports of more kidnappings and intimidation ahead of the party's 6th Women's League conference which begins in Harare on Thursday as she warned those behind the shenanigans that women would protect the integrity of their conference.

Cde Muchinguri made the revelations while addressing a Press conference at the party's headquarters in the wake of the shambolic National Youth Conference that was marred by allegations of vote buying and manipulation.

"In some cases, the League has received reports which border on criminal conduct where its members have been kidnapped or sequestered against their will and without the knowledge of their families who do not know the whereabouts of their loved ones," she said.

"These reports are very worrying and they must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

"The League wants to make it very clear and put it on record that any of its members who are kidnapped or sequestered ahead of the conference will be deregistered and will thus not be allowed to participate in the conference without fear or favour to enforce discipline as well as to protect and ensure the integrity of the conference.

"For the same reasons, the League calls on law enforcement authorities to take the kidnapping reports seriously and let the law take its course against the culprits regardless of their standing or station in the party or society."

Cde Muchinguri said they had received reports of such kidnappings from Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, and Masvingo, but could not divulge the identity of those responsible and reported to the police.

Last week, National Assembly Member for Gokwe-Gumunyu Cde Melania Majovani reported Minister of State in the President's Office Cde Flora Buka to the police for allegedly abducting and holding members of the wing hostage to force them to vote for her.

She eventually lost to Cde Majovani in the Gokwe contest.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could, as has become the norm, not be reached for comment yesterday.

Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said in a statement yesterday that all the 10 provincial chairladies of the Women's League should attend an urgent meeting scheduled for tomorrow by the party's National Elections Directorate.

The meeting is meant to finalise preparations for the conference.

The Women's League completed its elections to fill its slots in the Central Committee in all the provinces last week.

The elections were full of drama, as allegations of voting impropriety were raised by some losing candidates in some provinces, while the process was smooth in other areas.

In Manicaland province, Mutare South MP Cde Nyasha Chikwinya got the highest votes, while the others elected were Cdes Agatha Mugomba-Muparutsa, Jane Mabuto-Knight and Alice Mutindori.

But national Women's League secretary for information and publicity Cde Monica Mutsvangwa lodged a complaint to the provincial executive after she lost, accusing main wing members Cdes Didymus Mutasa, Munacho Mutezo, Enock Porusingazi, Esau Mupfumi, Fred Kanzama, Nyasha Chikwinya and Cde Mvundura of interference.

In Harare province, Cdes Albertina Bwititi and Eva Chanetsa won the right to lead portfolios, while their deputies would be Cdes Agnes Musarurwa and Mary Chakanyuka-Chatibura.

Cdes Irene Mutubwa, Elizabeth Shongedza, Maude Chigwada and Dorothy Kadungure made it in Mashonaland Central.

Those successful in Mashonaland East were Cdes Olivia Muchena, Marbel Nkatazo, Phoebe Bharata and Catherine Tapera.

In Mashonaland West, former provincial Women's League chairlady Cde Sarah Mahoka and Cdes Jennifer Mhlanga, Hilda Bhobho and Catherine Mugabe were elected.

In Masvingo, the four elected were Cdes Shuvai Mahofa, Angeline Chipato, Namatirai Chivhanga and Algina Samson Mhlanga.

In the Midlands, Cdes Elisina Nhari, Christina Mayer, Mercy Ncube Mashunye and Florence Khumalo made it.

Bulawayo would be represented by Cdes Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo, Judith Ncube, Esnath Moyo and Rosie Phiri, while Matabeleland South would be represented by Cdes Eveline Mpofu, Nkosinomusa Langa, Lesly Ncube and Fuluselo Muleya.

In Matabeleland North Cde Donnie Sibanda, Cde Thokozile Mathuthu, Cde Musa Ncube and Cde Veronica Munkuni won.

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