FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe’s Gwanda rally was met with stiff resistance and violence by a group of Makwe villagers who were against the bussing of Zanu PF supporters to her rally on Monday, it has been revealed.
Two Zanu PF activists suffered moderate injuries in the melee that occurred on Sunday on the eve of Grace’s visit to Phelandaba Stadium, where thousands of party supporters were bussed for her rally.
The revelations came to light when four relatives, Phosani Sibanda (30), Blessed Sibanda (24), Dumisile Sibanda (18) and Clearance Sibanda (18), appeared at the Gwanda Magistrate Courts, charged with public violence.
They were remanded in custody to today.
Prosecutor Edward Ndlovu told the court that on Sunday evening, Sibongile Sibanda and her husband Morgan Sibanda (46) were eating at Zibekebeke restaurant in Makwe.
Sibongile Sibanda is the Gwanda chairperson of a shadowy organisation aligned to Zanu PF called United Women Miners’ Association.
“The accused persons, who were also at the business centre, started shouting, accusing Sibongile of organising transport to Grace’s rally and calling her a prostitute,” the prosecutor said.
“The accused persons and others, who are still at large, started throwing stones indiscriminately and assaulting people and in the process assaulted Sibongile and Morgan using open hands, booted feet and stones, destroying a rear view mirror of their Toyota Hilux.”
Morgan was treated at Makwe Clinic while Sibongile was treated at Gwanda, Hospital where a medical report was compiled indicating she suffered moderate injuries.
Sibongile further claims she lost her purse containing $300 in the ensuing melee while Morgan claims the value of his damaged rear view mirror was $250. Phosani, whom Sibongile accuses of being an MDC-T activist denied the charges, saying they were trumped up while the other three pleaded guilty, saying they were defending him.
Phosani will appear in court for trial, while the three will be sentenced today.