Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu PF, has denied allegations that its members were responsible for an attack on members of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in Murewa over the weekend. In a statement, the party accused the CCC of “stage-managing the incident to tarnish [Zanu PF’s] reputation.” Housing minister and Zanu PF Mashonaland East chairman, Daniel Garwe, said that there was “no justification whatsoever that the assailants were members of the ruling party.” He went on to claim that it was “presumptuous, hasty, and even sinister” to brand the attackers as Zanu PF members without concrete evidence.
Garwe also alleged that the CCC has a history of “stage-managing political violence incidents ahead of elections” and that some of its senior officials are currently facing legal action for doing so. He stated that it is possible that the Murewa incident was also “stage-managed to draw negative international attention” and called on the public to wait for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to conclude their investigations before assigning blame.
Finally, Garwe condemned violence, disunity, and unrest, saying that Zanu PF “say[s] no to violence, disunity and unrest” and calling on the police to “speedily bring the perpetrators captured in the video to face the full wrath of the law.” The attack, which was captured on video and went viral on social media, has sparked outrage and condemnation from both domestic and international sources.