<strong>BULAWAYO -</strong> Marauding Zanu PF youths allegedly held hostage Nhimbe Trust executive director Josh Nyapimbi (pictured) and staff members of other non-governmental organisations Youth Contact Centre (YCC) and Bluez Café occupying the same building for more than an hour.</p>
The incident has left the staff shell-shocked ahead of elections.
Zanu PF youths in Bulawayo are known for illegally occupying buildings in the CBD, in a move that has seen owners resorting to the courts to force them out.
In a statement issued on behalf of Nhimbe Trust, YCC and Bluez Café, Nyapindi claimed they were under siege for almost an hour.
He cited the three ruling party members as Andrew Manjoro, Gordon Dube and Denzel Makamure.
Zanu PF youth league provincial chair Khumbulani Mpofu confirmed knowing the trio but dismissed the reports that they were part of the youth league.
“I am aware of those people, they are Zanu PF members but they don’t belong to the youths. They are in the structure of the party but I don’t remember them carrying any position in the party,” Mpofu said.
He, however, said he had not received any reports pertaining to the holding of the Nhimbe Trust director but was quick to indicate that he was aware of some bogus party members who are in the habit of extorting people’s monies using the party name.
Nyapimbi, however, claimed that police were hesitant to react and suspects they had been instructed by the Zanu PF provincial leadership not to intervene.
While Zanu PF provincial chair Calistus Ndlovu was not picking his phone, Mpofu shot down the claim saying that; “it cannot be true”.
Nyapimbi added that persecution of Nhimbe Trust and YCC by the Zanu PF party has been an annual occurrence since 2008. “It has taken many forms including harassment and intimidation of staff, hostile occupation and displacement of staff from offices, extorting money and theft of office accessories in the process.”
Police provincial spokesperson Precious Simango could not be reached for comment yesterday.