Zanu PF Makonde District Coordinating Committee (DCC) secretary for youth affairs Cathy Chanetsa on Wednesday fled her Chinhoyi home in fear of her life alleging persecution and sexual harassment from party youths allegedly aligned to ruling party youth league official Mike Chimombe.
Chanetsa said she has been living a nightmare since her victory in the DCC elections against Chimombe’s preferred candidate.
She accused the businessman-cum-socialite of using party youths to force her out of party structures, through threats on her life and her marriage.
The 36-year-old filed a letter of complaint on Wednesday afternoon to Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairperson Ziyambi Ziyambi and Zanu PF national chairman Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, pleading for the party’s protection.
“I was threatened several times and I couldn’t make a police report because I was taught at a young age that a party carder cannot take the party to law enforcement agents for the sake of the party reputation,” Chanetsa wrote in the letter.
“Mike Chimombe suspected that I am the one who helped Abigail to press charges against him of (attempted) child rape allegations. I was not involved in that,” she said.
Chimombe is currently facing a charge of attempted rape and forcing a teenage girl to film him while he had sex with his lover. He denies the charges.
Efforts to get a comment from Chimombe on the harassment and persecution allegations hit a brick wall.
He did not respond to questions sent to him, neither did pick up incessant calls from Zim Morning Post.
Chanetsa said party youths in the strife torn province were subjecting her to derogatory names including calling her a “habitual prostitute.”
The attacks have “shacked her family foundations” threatening her marriage, she said. The public humiliation reached a crescendo on March 20.
“On Saturday 20 March 2021 there was a meeting to introduce the DCC to Makonde leadership and Mike Chimombe sponsored regalia and money to the youth who closed the gates and harassed me verbally and also sexually assaulted me at the venue,” Chanetsa wrote.
“I couldn’t proceed to enter the meeting because they were prepared to attack me. Again I did not report the matter to the police since it was going to put the party’s name into disrepute,” she added.
Reached for comment Ziyambi said he was yet to see the report.
“I am not aware but the best people to deal with this are the police,” Ziyambi told this publication.
Earlier Chanetsa had told Zim Morning Post that “Chinhoyi is now a dangerous place for me ever since I won the DCC elections. Meetings are being arranged every day to try and get me expelled from the party as my husband and I are regarded as a stumbling block to Chimombe’s rise to power.”
An activist group has also registered their displeasure, imploring the Zanu PF party leadership to take stern action against the perpetrators or at the very least arraign the warring parties before a disciplinary committee.
“As Women for Women we are calling the chairperson of Mashonaland West Ziyambi to investigate the abuse of women in particular those holding leadership positions because the patriarchal society has been discouraging women to partake in politics and it uses various tactics to do such,” Gugu Ncube leader of Women for Women told Zim Morning Post.
It is alleged that the youths aligned to Chimombe have written a petition to Zanu PF political Commissar Victor Matemadanda demanding the expulsion of Chanetsa and her husband Joseph Nyariri.