By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
07 January 2013
Three Harare-based National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) activists were hospitalized on Sunday after they were attacked by ZANU PF supporters, the new party has claimed.
A party statement said Taurai Maravanyika, Patson Mangwiro and Olibeletsi Noko were amongst the NCA activists who were campaigning for the forthcoming Sunningdale council by-election, when ZANU PF supporters pounced on them.
The three were admitted at the Avenues Clinic in Harare and discharged late Monday and are now recovering at their homes.
Media reports Monday quoted ZANU PF Harare provincial chairman Amos Midzi denying any knowledge of the incident. Midzi claimed that ZANU PF was committed to peace and that the party’s campaign strategy ‘has not really changed.’
But the NCA on Tuesday insisted that their members were attacked as they were putting up posters in Mbare for Takura Gadzira, the party’s candidate in the by-election scheduled for January 25th.
The NCA fingered ZANU PF candidate Maureen Nyemba and her group of supporters in the incident which was reported at Stodart Police Camp.
NCA spokesperson Madock Chivasa said it was expected that Midzi would deny the incident because it was ZANU PF’s ‘tried and tested strategy’ to inflict violence on opponents and deny responsibility.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa, Chivasa said: “It is clear Nyemba is guilty. Those people who attacked us were with her and they live with her. They (ZANU PF) are simply denying the obvious.”
The NCA statement also said that the party will continue with its peaceful campaign in the hope that “primitive parties like ZANU PF will learn from us to be civilized in their approach to politics.”
Nyemba lost the contest for the Sunningdale parliamentary seat to MDC-T’s Margaret Matienga in last year’s election and has now resorted to vying for the council sear.
Also contesting in this month’s by-elections, which will be held in Karoi and Zaka too, is the MDC-T while the other MDC faction led by Welshman Ncube is not taking part.
It will be for the first time the newly formed NCA political party is contesting in any election since its launch in September last year.