The official, Briden Zimba who died in a car accident near here on Tuesday has since been declared a district hero and will be buried in Magunje on Friday amid criticism from some disgruntled war veterans.
Zimba was travelling in a car belonging to Deputy Minister of Regional Intergration and International Cooperation, Reuben Marumahoko, when the accident occured.
Some drunk youth forced senior party supporters and mourners to scurry for cover as they barred those from the rival camp to attend the night vigil on Wednesday.
“Ndimi mauraya DCC vedu ibvai pano”(You are the one who killed our DCC (district co-ordinating committee) so go away, shouted the youth.
Zimba, was due to participate in an election that had been postponed on four occasions because of clashes among war veterans.
Ironically the election was set for Wednesday when clashes broke. He belonged to a camp led by Marumahoko while the other camp has two Hurungwe members of Parliament who are suspended provincial members.
Zimba died on the spot about nine kilometres out of Karoi when the ministerial car rolled three times. The driver tried to avoid a “a man in white robs in the middle of the road” according to Josiah Million, the deputy minister’s farm worker, who survived the accident.
Him and three others including the deputy minister’s bodyguard, driver, constituency secretary escaped with minor injuries.
Zimba was a surviving member of terror gang fingered in the death of MDC supporter Luckson Kanyurira in the resort town of Kariba in 2001. Although the 20 member gang that terrorised Mashonaland West province were arrested, they allegedly received three star meals in prison supplied by a local hotel. The bills were paid by then provincial chairman who is now a Zanu (PF) minister. The murder case is still pending although the majority of suspects died mysteriously.
Zimba is being buried in Magunje against the wishes of his family who wanted him to be laid to rest in his home area of Karoi where they had already dug a grave for him.
Some party members decried the hero status of 36year old.
“It raises questions on how such a young man can be declared a hero. Heroism in the party is selective and a joke,” said a war veteran who refused to be named.