ZANU PF youths in Matabeleland North Province reportedly diverted two public buses heading to Hwange and Bulawayo, respectively and ordered the drivers to take their passengers to Manjolo Business Centre in Binga, where First Lady Grace Mugabe was to launch an irrigation project the following day, Southern Eye has learnt.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The alleged incident occurred on August 12 this year.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), in its latest human rights report, said the majority of people, who attended the rally, had been railroaded to the venue by ruling party youths and were forced to spend the whole night singing and chanting Zanu PF slogans.
According to ZPP, some of the attendees included passengers on the Madzanwe buses. Although the irate passengers later reported the matter to police, the Zanu PF youths were only cautioned and released without charge, the ZPP said.
“On August 12, 2015, the eve of First Lady Grace Mugabe’s visit to Binga, a group of suspected Zanu PF youths, led by ward youth chairperson Amos Musaka, accompanied by Richard Muzamba and Joseph Mudimba forcibly diverted a truck and two buses with passengers on board belonging to Madzanwe Bus Company,” part of the report read.
“The youths ordered the drivers of the vehicles to ferry people to Manjolo Centre, where the First Lady was holding a rally the following day.
“The diverted buses were headed for Bulawayo and Hwange, respectively. The two drivers are reported to have abandoned their buses and fled, only to return the following morning with police.”
The ZPP report adds one of the bus drivers was assaulted by the youths, while the hijacked passengers were forced to chant Zanu PF slogans all night.
Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial chairperson, Richard Moyo was unreachable for comment yesterday.
This is not the first time that Zanu PF youths have been accused of forcing people to attend party rallies or other campaign meetings.
Meanwhile, the ZPP report claims most opposition supporters in Matabeleland North Province were denied government food aid.
“For the month of August, Matabeleland North witnessed violations, mostly associated with deliberate deprivation of food and means of livelihood. As with other provinces, there were also recorded cases of infringement on property rights, both movable and immovable property,” the report said.