AT least 14 demonstrators were reportedly arrested at Ushewokunze Housing Co-operative in Harare South yesterday morning and released in the evening.
This followed skirmishes between demonstrators against Harare South National Assembly member Cde Shadreck Mashayamombe, who is reported to have approached Politburo member Cde Patrick Zhuwao — who is nephew to the First Family — asking him to find a political home for the First Lady in Mashonaland West Province.
The demonstrators were allegedly dispersed by riot police and youths aligned to the legislator who said Harare South was their territory.
Efforts to get a comment from the police were fruitless last night as police Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi referred all questions to Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba whose mobile phone was not reachable.
Cde Mashayamombe denied the allegations saying there were people out to tarnish his image.
“You were there and why do you want to be fed some lies,” he said.
“I never assaulted anyone and all these are machinations by people who want to use Amai Mugabe’s to tarnish my image.
“We actually wrote to the National Chair Cde Simon Khaya confirming that Amai Mugabe is a member of the Harare province.”
Cde Mashayamombe said he was a victim of negative media reports aimed at killing his political career.
Some of the people who were part of the demo told The Herald that one person Cde Norman Sibanda was beaten up by Cde Mashayamombe before tearing his T-shirt emblazoned with President Mugabe’s image.
A docket was opened at Waterfalls Police Station.
The demonstrators said Cde Mashayamombe also hired people who were deployed in various areas to thwart the demo.
Cde Mashayamombe’s supporters had running battles with the protesters at Granville cemetery where they even beat up mourners.
Cde Tonderai Nkomo who is a resident in Harare South, said the demonstrations were aimed at dissociating themselves from Cde Mashayamombe’s claims that Amai Mugabe was not a member of Harare province.
He exonerated Harare provincial youth chair Cde Godwin Gomwe from organising the demo.
Cde Nkomo said there were several deep seated problems in Harare South that prompted the demo.
“The people of Harare South do not even have support from the provincial leadership,” he said.
“We are aware that the Politburo is meeting tomorrow so we wanted the leadership to know that we are not represented that we are not part and parcel of Cde Mashayamombe’s remarks that Amai Mugabe is not a member of Harare province.”
Cde Nkomo said some of the challenges in Harare South included corruption in housing co-operatives among others.
Another resident from Harare South Cde Trust Rutsvara, accused Cde Mashayamombe of causing confusion in housing co-operatives in the constituency.
He said Cde Mashayamombe bragged that he was untouchable and even if you reported him at Waterfalls Police Station no action could be taken.
Another victim of Cde Mashayamombe’s rampage was Cde Muchineripi Mupindu who was assaulted at Mbudzi.
Cde Mupindu said he lost US$1, 700 during the attack and he reported the matter at Waterfalls Police Station where a docket was also opened.