Five suspected gold panners allegedly hired to disrupt Zanu PF primary elections for Kwekwe Central over the weekend have been arrested, as investigations into the incident continue.
The primary elections had to be cancelled after rowdy youths armed with machetes and iron bars stormed the command centre at the party’s Kwekwe district office and started to beat up everyone, including polling agents.
Vehicles belonging to party officials, including that of the provincial deputy chairperson Cde Rabson Nyathi, who was presiding were damaged.
Two aspiring candidates, Cde Kandros Mugabe and Cde Energy Ncube, were battling it out to represent the party in the Kwekwe Central seat left vacant following the death of Mr Masango Matambanadzo of the National Patriotic Front in July this year.
Zanu PF Midlands provincial spokesperson Cde Cornelius Mpereri yesterday confirmed the arrest of the five suspects, saying the party was assisting the police with investigations.
“There are suspects who have since been arrested following the disturbances on Sunday, but you can check with the police for the names,” he said.
“I am not in the office at the moment. We are a peaceful party and we continue to work with the police as we seek to bring the perpetrators of the violence to book.”
Meanwhile, Cde William Gondo will represent Zanu PF in the Mkoba constituency by-election in Gweru after he won the party primary elections, which ran late into the night on Sunday.
There were four other candidates who contested in the party primary elections.
Cde Gondo, who runs a number of private schools in Gweru got 358 votes, while his closest rival, Cde Charles Simbi got 287.
Another contestant and former magistrate Mr Thomas Militao got 14 votes, while Cde Rosemary Vundla got 43 votes.
Cde Basilton Sikhosana did not get a single vote.