ZANU PF turn Mbare into a war zone
Written by SW Radio Africa
Dozens of rampaging ZANU PF youth militia invaded the Harare suburb of Mbare over the weekend, beating up and displacing suspected MDC-T supporters from their homes. The youths are reported to have declared Mbare a no go area, leaving many of their victims homeless. Perceived MDC-T supporters running market stalls are also having their goods looted and tables taken away.
Leading the violence is a well known ZANU PF activist and council employee known as Chirwa, who works as a mortuary attendant. The gangsters are evicting MDC supporters and taking over their council houses and the houses are then given to ZANU PF supporters to use. In one incident reported by the Daily News, a man came back from work only to see his property chucked outside and “the door of his house ajar –and saw a strange woman coming out of the door.”
Local Senator Morgan Femai told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the violence has not stopped and people are still being beaten up every day. He told us that people in the area are not only having their vending stalls raided and goods looted, but they are being forced to attend ZANU PF meetings on a daily basis. For example people were forced to close down their market stalls and attend a ZANU PF meeting at Mai Musodzi Hall.
In February and March this year ZANU PF youths, bused in from rural areas, again created chaos in Mbare. Not only did they assault perceived MDC supporters but they also invaded the Siyaso Market, looting goods from those accused of supporting the party. Mugabe and Tsvangirai met to discuss the disturbances and this was followed by the usual tongue-in-cheek condemnation of the violence by Mugabe.SW Radio Africa reported then how some of the mobs of violent ZANU PF youths causing the chaos in Mbare and other urban centres, were being trained for two months outside Harare, at the Inkomo army barracks. Leaked confidential documents showed that Mugabe’s regime has since November 2010 been recruiting impoverished youths from rural areas and giving them military training.
The regime was planning on training up to 70 000 youths by the end of May, under ‘Operation Return to ZANU’. The youths are being deployed to terrorize perceived opposition supporters and recruitment is mainly being conducted in Mashonaland West, East and Central provinces, traditionally viewed as ZANU PF strongholds and home to some of the worst political violence over the years.
Already some of the graduates have helped beat up MDC-T activists at the party’s offices in Mbare, destroyed the house of local councillor Paul Gorekore and disrupted council business at Harare’s Town. In one incident that took place in January, eye witnesses reported seeing over 70 youths being trucked into Mbare from the Inkomo barracks, using a white Nissan vehicle, UD registration number AAM 7901.