By Watmore Makokoba
Zanu PF Harare Province Youth Chairman Godwin Gomwe has distanced himself from violent skirmishes that happened in the Central Business District yesterday afternoon and has instead blamed MDC youths.
In a statement, Gomwe said he was neither involved nor associated with the MDC Headquarters violent disturbances, whether directly or indirectly.
“I had no knowledge of the disturbances both during and in the aftermath. I got the shock of my life when I came across a message on social media suggesting I was gun-toting and leading in the violent acts.
“Such messages are being fueled by malice and mischief. Let me warn those behind the falsehoods that it is illegal and unacceptable to falsely accuse someone,” he said.
Information which circulated on social media purported that Gomwe led a group of Zanu PF youths in the attack against Ximex Mall phone traders.
Gunshots were heard during the violent clashes and some shops, buildings including MDC-T headquarters where smashed with stones.
Gomwe said he carried out his own investigations after finding out that his name was among those suspected to have caused the violence and found out that it is rather MDC youths who were the culprits.
“I carried out a personal investigation and found out that, the fight was between MDC-T youths and phone dealers that trade at Ximex. It is said MDC-T people had looted phones from the dealers a couple of days ago, it’s further stated that the rowdy MDC-T youths usually raid the dealers of their wares and use Harvest House as their hideout.
“When they returned today to carry out their illegal activities as their culture had been, Ximex dealers are said to have resisted them and retaliated, resulting in the violence,” reads a statement from Gomwe.
Gomwe who has made headlines in the past for his violent behaviour against opposition supporters called on the country’s security authorities to investigate the issue and bring the culprit to book.
The Zanu PF youth leader said the skirmishes have nothing to do with him or his party, adding that he believes peace and co-existence despite differences in political and religious affiliations.
Meanwhile, MDC youths have accused Gomwe of conniving with Ximex Mall dealers to target MDC-T head office and have demanded that justice should prevail for the damages suffered.
Protest movement #Tajamuka/Sesikile which is believed to be affiliated to MDC-T also accused Gomwe of the violence adding that they take the event as a direct provocation.
“#Tajamuka/Sesjikile would like to warn Zanu PF Lacoste Harare Province Youth Chairperson Godfrey Gomwe who led Ximex Mall people to MDC-T headquarters (Harvest House) to attack the office and damaged several properties at the entrance of the building.
“We view this attack as a clear provocation to one of our KEY member organization within Tajamuka. Whatever the grievance which Ximex dealers have, should not be used to indirectly or directly attack the People’s Headquarters who are our only hope for this year’s general elections,” said Tajamuka/Sesjikile in a statement.