Armed men shouting “CID! CID!” kicked open a door at the rural home of a former minister early Thursday and rounded up his family.

MP Godfrey Gandawa, running as an Independent in Magunje, was not present when the men struck at around 1AM but six family members were rounded up and loaded onto a white BAIC double cab truck and driven for about six kilometres before being returned home.

Gandawa’s mother and five other family members were sleeping at their home in the Njengenja area of Magunje when they were woken up by a door being kicked in.

Three armed man barged in, while a fourth remained in the car.

According to Norman Chauke, a Gandawa election agent. “They were shouting ‘CID! CID!’,”

The MP was not there at the time after being tipped off that there was a threat to his security.

“They rounded all the adults, six in total, and left the children. They were ordered into the car and driven a short distance. There was disagreement among their kidnappers about how to proceed and they returned them,” Chauke said by phone from Magunje.

“Along the way, the men kept asking ‘where is he? He has crimes.’ They said it was not politics.”

The Gandawa family only captured the first three letters of the truck’s registration, ‘AES’. A new crack unit of the CID homicide in Harare uses trucks from BAIC , the Chinese car-maker.

Gandawa, a popular MP, is running an impressive campaign in Magunje – one of the many former Zanu PF rebels who are urging their support base to vote for MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

He is one of dozens of senior officials purged following the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe in a military coup. Several have been arrested and charged with crimes allegedly committed while they were in office.