Lloyd Gumbo and Munyaradzi Musiiwa
Zanu-PF Midlands legislators Cdes Masango Matambanadzo (Kwekwe Central) and Owen Ncube (Gokwe-Kana) exchanged blows in public at Amaveni Shopping Centre in Kwekwe on Sunday over allegations of instructing youths to perform acts of arson. Both legislators reported the fistfight to the police, levelling charges of assault against each other, with Cde Matambanadzo giving his statement at Amaveni, while Cde Ncube went to Kwekwe Central Police Station.
Police confirmed the incident, but said they awaited further details.
Cde Matambanadzo admitted yesterday that he had a scuffle with Cde Ncube in retaliation after he had allegedly been assaulted first.
Cde Ncube professed ignorance of the incident, but witnesses confirmed he was involved in the fistfight.
“He (Cde Ncube) denounced me at the provincial outreach meeting at Queens Club on Friday when I arrived and the youths started cheering and lifting me,” said Cde Matambanadzo.
“He then came to Amaveni Shopping Centre yesterday (Sunday) where I stay and started addressing the youths whom he instructed to burn my car and my shop where I stay, claiming that I am not loyal to the party and its leadership.
“I got wind of it and when I drove to where he was addressing the youths, he got into the car and sped off, but I chased after him with my car and caught up with him. When I confronted him over why he wanted the youths to burn my car and shop, he assaulted me once before I retaliated. He was lucky he sped off, I wanted to teach him a lesson because I was very angry with him.”
Cde Matambanadzo accused Cde Ncube of de-campaigning him when addressing meetings.
“The problem with these people is that they say I should not be an MP in the Midlands since I am from Mashonaland West,” he said. “It is not the first time they are attacking me. A few years ago they burnt my 290 tobacco bales and destroyed my Combine Harvester.
“I don’t understand why he is de-campaigning me because his constituency, Gokwe-Kana, is about 200 kilometres from my constituency.
Cde Ncube said: “We did not fight with Cde Matambanadzo. I never had an altercation with him.”
But a source who was among the people in Cde Ncube’s car said: “Matambanadzo chased after Cde Ncube when he was driving off before overtaking and blocking him. He confronted him saying: “what are you doing in my constituency?” He then assaulted him. Cde Ncube reported at (Kwekwe) Central Police Station.”
Police Officer Commanding Midlands, Assistant Commissioner Musarashana Mabunda said they were yet to get finer details on the matter.
“When we have full details, we will hand them over to police national spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba,” he said.