Zimbabweans have warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his bootlickers against harming Chief Nhlanhla Ndiweni, who has been vocal against ZANU-PF’s autocratic rule and human rights abuses.

Debates have since been stirred following Chief Ndiweni’s recent ambush by alleged state agents and ZANU-PF youths who wanted to confiscate his vehicle, amid threats of unspecified action.

The attack came on the heels of a senior government official, and ruling party politburo member Victor Matemadanda’s sentiments, who labelled the chief a security threat, and warned that the state was watching him.

Commenting on the matter, in various social corridors, Zimbabweans have responded with mixed sentiments.

Some saying the Chief should not have threatened arson, i.e. threatening to set the vehicle on fire, calling for his arrest.

While others defended the Chief saying he only threatened to burn the vehicle, but didn’t do it. They say the state should not victimise its citizens, Chiefs included, for speaking against state sponsored human rights abuses.

Meanwhile, some social commentators have warned Mnangagwa and his administration to handle the matter with care, saying traditional Chiefs by virtue of being community leaders have influence over people, and should not be unfairly treated, especially for standing up for the people against state abuses.

They add that  any victimisation against such leaders more so; at the time the sensitive issue of  Gukurahundi is taking centre stage will likely cause social unrest.

“Mnangagwa should not attempt to play dirty tricks like trying to abduct or have Chief Ndiweni killed by use of planned accident, as such attempts would trigger civil unrest.

“Especially at this moment when issues of Gukurahundi are taking centre stage,” said one analyst, a political student who declined to be named.

He added that the ZANU-PF regime have a strong history of killing perceived political opponents, master-minding abductions, and ordering assassinations through staged accidents.

President Mnangagwa recently opened discussions on matters of Gukurahundi as he tries to bring finality to the volatile issue.

Meanwhile, during some of the public hearings being conducted by the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission countrywide, some members of the public have expressed reluctance in contributing for fear of being victimised or being earmarked for abduction at a later stage.

One citizen who spoke to this publication during one of these public hearings conducted in Mashonaland Central Gladys Masveto, had this to say; “Our government is notorious, they call for people to open hearts regarding the Gukurahundi, only to track and harm you later for having had spoken your mind.

“They are not sincere in bringing the matter to finality, they are on a witch hunt mission, they only want those who dance to their tune, you differ with them, then you are an enemy,” she said.

Some have accused the Mnangagwa administration of hypocrisy and double standards, saying Chief Rekayi Tangwena, fought against the eviction of his people in Manicaland by the Rhodesian government, and he is a national hero. Now Chief  Ndiweni is fighting against the eviction of his people in Ntabazinduna by the Zimbabwean government, and he is now labelled an enemy.

Prominent political analyst Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya, says it is worrying for ZANU PF thugs to attempt to seize Chief Ndiweni’s vehicle for speaking out against human rights violations. He says the regime patronise chiefs nationwide to be its political commissars, but Chief Ndiweni does not agree to patronage and he is being victimised for that.

“Let us protect the chief from harm, adduction, possible disappearance, and murder,” he twitted.

He adds that Chief Charumbira openly supports ZANU PF and the regime is happy, he is not victimised. But another Chief (Ndiweni) speaks against rights abuses and he is supposed to be removed, he lambasts the double standards.