A senior Zanu-PF figure, who is also a church leader in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Midlands province, said he would never be arrested for threatening to kill opposition Citizens leader Nelson Chamisa Coalition for Change (CCC), and his family.
Abton Mashayanyika, Bishop of Habbakuk Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Mberengwa, threatened to kill Chamisa for defying Mnangagwa while addressing a local Zanu-PF meeting before the video recording went viral on social networks.
Police have yet to arrest Mashayanyika or question him more than a week after the video of the explicit death threats was released.
A defiant Mashayanyika told Standard yesterday that he has no regrets over his threats, saying he was ‘too Zanu-PF’ to be arrested.
“Who’s going to stop me? Me? I’m ready to die for Zanu-PF, but that won’t stop me from saying ‘down with sales’,” Mashayanyika said.
“It’s politics to say they should be killed.
“If they oppose Zanu-PF, they also say Zanu-PF must be killed. I don’t like these people because I am a war collaborator.
“I fought in the war of liberation that took the country from white colonization. Now some people are coming and wanting to give the country back to white people. We can’t let that happen.”
Mashayanyika, bishop of the Habbakuk Apostolic Faith Mission in Mberengwa, said he identified himself more as a politician than a businessman.
“Yes, I am a bishop but I am more Zanu-PF than I identify as a church leader.
“When will the police come? I’m not afraid of them,” he said.
“I am a member of Zanu-PF and I am not afraid of being arrested.
“Tell them out there in Harare that I’m not afraid. I’ve been a strong Zanu-PF supporter since the days of (Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian) Smith.
“But I am a war collaborator.
I will not let the country return to white hands. We cannot let things continue like this and I always insist on continuing to support (President Emmerson) ED Mnangagwa.”
CCC Youth Communications Secretary Stephen Tshuma called for a citizen’s arrest in Mashayanyika.
“It is clear that Zanu-PF wants the law for itself. There is no doubt that at this point the citizens of Zimbabwe, Mberengwa in particular, must initiate a citizen’s arrest and hand over this criminal and thug of the Zanu-PF in the hands of the police,” Tshuma said.
Efforts to get Zanu-PF spokesman Christopher Mutsvangwa to comment were unsuccessful as his number could not be reached.
Zanu-PF commissioner Michael Bimha said he ignored Mashayanyika’s death threats against Chamisa.
Midlands Provincial Police Spokesman Emmanuel Mahoko posed questions to National Police Spokesman Paul Nyathi
Nyathi’s phone was unreachable yesterday.
Mashayanyika’s statements have been described as hate speech as tension mounts ahead of next year’s elections.
Chamisa survived a suspected assassination while on her meet-the-people tours last year.
Police have been accused of selective law enforcement as CCC and civil society activists are routinely arrested for trivial crimes or false charges while Mashayanyika, who was caught killing on tape-free video walks.