Zimbabwe Army General Points Gun At MDC MP

The incident, witnessed by a member of the media, happened at Chevron Hotel Bar at about 1030 hours.

ZANU PF Chivi North Member of Parliament, Iverne Dzingirai-who was in the company of Brig Gen Rugeje-later cooled down tempers and pleaded with him to put back the gun in his pocket.

All hell broke loose when retired army Major Kudzai Mbudzi-who was having an argument with Chiminya, his political rival who out polled him in last year’s harmonised elections-acknowledged the presence of Major Gen Rugeje when he entered with Dzingirai.

“Let me acknowledge the presence of my senior here who is level headed, not opportunists like you,” Retired major Mbudzi told Chiminya, to which the MDC-T MP replied saying, “I do not care, what army general? The bell toils for them.”

This did not go down well with Major Gen Rugeje who- in a drunken stupor-pulled out a pistol, pointed it at the legislators’ forehead, before threatening to open fire.

“Who are you to say that, I will shoot you now and I will get away with it. To me killing a person is like killing a fly, you will disappear without a trace,” Rugeje said, amid deafening silence.

Dzingirai later pleaded with Rugeje to calm down.

“Gono chiregai kudaro, mwana waresva, inga akumbira ruregerero wani,” (Forgive him he made a mistake and has apologised), Dzingirai said, as all revellers were dead silent, struck by fear.

Chiminya apologised and later left the place immediately after the incident.

No formal police report has been made so far.

Chiminya’s mobile was switched off for the greater part of Saturday to establish whether he was going to press charges against Major General Rugeje, a loyalist of President Mugabe.

Provincial chairman, Wilstuiff Sitemere, said he had received a report, but stressed consultations were still underway to map the way forward.

This is not the first time that Major Gen Rugeje has displayed bullying tendencies. At the height of the run-up to the presidential runoff elections last year, Rugeje-who had come to Masvingo to violently drum up support for Mugabe-turned the whole town into a ghost one after forcing all shops to close for the ZANU PF rally held at Mucheke stadium.

The pint-sized but very powerful Rugeje later threatened the people with a post election war if Mugabe lost the elections.