CITIZENS’ Coalition for Change candidate for Mabvuku in the forthcoming by-elections, Fabion Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi, says he has exposed a plot by Zanu PF candidate Pedzai Sakupwanya and the state machinery to have him arrested before the polls.
Kufahakutizwi is one of the nine opposition lawmakers who were controversially recalled by self-proclaimed secretary-general of the party Sengezo Tshabangu barely two months after Zimbabwe held general elections. The by-elections will be held on 9 December.
Kufahakutizwi told The NewsHawks during a door-to-door campaign in his constituency that the charges are trumped up and he has credible information that the arrest is imminent.
“We have started our door-to-door campaign today, but as I am speaking to you we recently buried the late [Tapfumaneyi] Masaya, but Zanu PF is continuing its onslaught against the candidate, specifically I as a candidate for Mabvuku-Tafara constituency. So they have intensified in terms of framing and coming up with a number of charges which they are trying to cook up and frame me on charges so that they can disturb my campaign,” said Kufahakutizwi.
Kufahakutizwi’s constituency was in mourning last week after the abduction and gruesome murder of one of the key people in his campaign team, Bishop Tapfumaneyi Masaya.
Masaya was earlier this month abducted while campaigning for Kufahakutizwi in the high-density suburb. His body was found three days dumped.
Some opposition activists say they witnessed the abduction and made reports to the authorities, but no charges have been levelled against the suspects. Contacted for comment, police said investigations are ongoing.
Kufahakutizwi says the ruling party also wants him to be arrested on charges related to damage of property. He denies such charges.
“On Tuesday I heard from an eyewitness that one of the Pastors for ED in Mabvuku, Chiremba, went to a car park where his dysfunctional commuter omnibus is parked and plucked out windows and placed them in the road in such a systematic way that it shows that they were placed there,” he said.
A visit to the scene by The NewsHawks showed bits of glass that have been reduced in size due to the heavy traffic along Mabvuku Drive, the main road in the township. Vendors by the roadside who spoke on condition of anonymity say they saw broken glass scattered close to where Masaya’s body was found by local police.
“I personally did not see anything happen. I came to work in the morning and just saw them on the road. I do not know how they got there,” said one of the vendors.
Another informal trader said: “ We work until 6pm and there was nothing during the day that could have happened to the effect of shattering glasses along this road. It’s a busy road, if it had happened during the day we would have seen it and it would have attracted people here, but nothing like that happened.”
Meanwhile, with just two weeks before the by-election, Kufahakutizwi, a duly nominated candidate for the Mabvuku-Tafara National Assembly seat, is yet to receive the voters’ roll.
“We have a problem with Zec, they have not yet given us the voters’ roll. Our suspicion is that they have tampered with it. They failed to run the 23 August election and we were hoping that they would do better this time but the situation has degenerated. We thought that they would run these elections that are happening under duress, under force, in a professional manner,” said Kufahakutizwi.
Ahead of the chaotic 23 August polls, Zec hogged the limelight for refusing to release the voters’ roll.