8 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Manhunt for Booing 'Ringleader' Launched

Photo: Zimbabwe Independent
President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe (file photo).

Police have launched a manhunt for expelled Zanu-PF Bulawayo Central district chairman Magura Charumbira (34) in connection with the booing of First Lady Dr Amai Grace Mugabe as she addressed people during the Presidential Youth Interface Rally at White City Stadium last Saturday. The controversial Charumbira, who was recently expelled from the ruling party's Youth League over alleged unruly behaviour and violence, is said to be the ring leader of a clique of rowdy party supporters that tried to disrupt the rally by heckling the First Lady.

Acting provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Chipfunde Garikayi, in a statement yesterday, said they were appealing for information on the whereabouts of Charumbira. Charumbira's last known residential address is Number 12304 Pumula South in Bulawayo.

"Police are anxious to interview Magura Magura Charumbira NR: 22-221801-F22, aged 34, in connection with an incident that occurred during the Presidential Youth Interface Rally at White City Stadium on the 4th of November 2017. The incident occurred while the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe was addressing a gathering during the rally," said Asst Insp Garikayi.

He said anyone with information on the whereabouts of Charumbira can contact Bulawayo CID Law and Order Section on (09)64232 or 0772 841 144 or visit any nearest police station.

On Sunday, zanu-pf Bulawayo provincial chairman Cde Dennis Ndlovu distanced the party's provincial leadership from the disorder that took place at the rally.

Cde Ndlovu said the majority of people who heckled the First Lady were bussed from other provinces.

"It emerged that from the small clique which tried to disrupt the rally, the majority of them were people from outside the province, particularly the Midlands and Masvingo. They were brought in buses and coordinated by expelled party members that included Charumbira," he said.

Cde Ndlovu said the provincial executive resolved to take drastic measures against party members who were involved in the scheme.

Charumbira, who openly declared his allegiance to a faction allegedly linked to former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, hogged the limelight in August after allegedly releasing an audio recording where he attacked Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.

Magura was allegedly recorded saying VP Mphoko was a tribalist and people should boycott the late national heroine Shuvai Mahofa's burial if the VP officiated.

He, however, disowned the audio recording attributed to him.

In May this year, he was allegedly stabbed on the head and face during intra-party clashes at the zanu-pf Bulawayo provincial headquarters, Davies Hall, as the two rival groups fought over control of the party offices.

Charumbira was once arrested in 2014 for allegedly extorting money paid as rentals for a building in the city belonging to an Indian national after the police set a trap on him when he had gone to collect the money.

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