HARARE – Zanu PF Machipisa offices in Harare were damaged early yesterday in a suspected petrol bomb attack, but no injuries have been reported.
Zanu PF immediately blamed the attack on the “enemy” angry at the devastating electoral defeat.
With Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo unreachable for comment yesterday and police spokesperson Charity Charamba tied up in meetings, Fitzgerald Mukumba, the party’s youth secretary for administration, said the party suspects that the building could have been petrol-bombed.
“The speed with which the fire spread convinced us that it could be a petrol bomb,” said Mukumba.
“The police have already collected samples for forensic tests.”
Mukumba further claimed that Jongwe Printers — printers of Zanu PF’s mouthpiece The People’s Voice newspaper — had also bombed.
But the Daily News on Sunday crew could not immediately verify the bombings at Jongwe Printers. A visit to the premises showed no sign of an attack. However, vendors in the printing company’s vicinity claimed to have heard about the bombings.
Meanwhile, the value of the property damaged at the Zanu PF offices in Machipisa could not be immediately ascertained.
When the Daily News on Sunday crew visited the scene, benches, tables, phones, watches and spoiled groceries were burnt including paraphernalia at a neighbouring grocery shop.
Most of the people at the scene claimed the fire started at around 2am, with the Fire Brigade responding swiftly, but only managing to put out the fire around 6am because of water shortages.
Spencer Mutero, Zanu PF youth vice chairman, insinuated the MDC was behind the attack, an accusation strenuously rejected by the party.
“The enemy tried to attack but destroyed other people’s properties in the way,” he said.
Itai Pattison, a staunch Zanu PF supporter, said MDC was bitter following a thorough beating in the July harmonised elections.
“This is an indirect confrontation,” he said. “Vanhu vakutidherera ava, dai takagara takataka vanhu before election dai vasina kusvika apa. (These people are undermining us, they should have been dealt with before elections to curb such developments). This is not a good example, we are hoping for a peaceful co-existence.”
The election saw the liberation party claiming two thirds majority in Parliament with President Robert Mugabe scooping 61 percent of the vote against his major contender MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai’s
Zanu PF youths at the scene constantly had to turn away curious residents trying to snap the scene of the attack using their phone cameras.
Patricia Kanyai, an employee at the neighbouring supermarket, said her aunt had been temporarily admitted at Garden City Clinic due to stress in the wake of the arson attack.