MDC-T officials in Manicaland under siege

September 1, 2011 at 9:19 am Leave a comment

By Tererai Karimakwenda

A group of about 50 ZANU PF thugs were reported to have set up a temporary
base just meters from the house of an MDC-T official in Mudzi West
constituency last Friday. They then stoned and destroyed the house in the
early hours of the morning. Fortunately the officials wife and children had
already left, after sensing danger.

A statement by the MDC-T said Goodwell Mazarura, the MDC-T Information and
Publicity Secretary for Mudzi West, was “visibly shaken” as he described how
the thugs sang revolutionary songs and chanted party slogans while stoning
the house.
Officials from the MDC-T in Manicaland have continued to face a violent
campaign by ZANU PF sponsored thugs, who are burning and destroying houses,
assaulting or illegally evicting families, with the support of soldiers and
the police.

Mazarura has remained active in the MDC despite being a target for years
now. His house was burnt down back in 2006 by three ZANU PF thugs who were
later prosecuted. The latest attack is believed to be retribution for this.

Julius Magaramombe, the MDC-T provincial Chairman, explained that Manicaland
is a target because many senior officials within ZANU PF lost their
parliamentary seats to MDC candidates in the province, during the 2008
elections.
Magaramombe told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the list includes ZANU PF
chefs Patrick Chinamasa, Joseph Made and Oppah Muchinguri, all of whom are
desperately hoping to get their positions back, using fear tactics.

“Asi vanhu vave kuziya hapana zviripo”, Magaramombe said, meaning “people
now know there is nothing left” that ZANU PF can offer. The party has
resorted to using violence and intimidation to get support and they are not
getting results.

According to the MDC-T official, the voters know if they do not go to ZANU
PF rallies and pretend to be members they will be victimized, but there is
no real support for ZANU PF.
As for the role of the police and soldiers, Magaramombe said they protect
the thugs from prosecution and at times take part in violent acts because
they too are being threatened by top officials and would be victimized if
they refuse to obey orders.

This partisan role played by the military, police and intelligence divisions
has emerged as the most critical issue blocking the full implementation of
the Global Political Agreement and any hope of credible elections in
Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, there are reports that a torture base has been re-established at
Chimango business centre, run by soldiers from the 22 Infantry Battalion.
According to the MDC-T the soldiers have teamed up with ZANU PF thugs and
are “unleashing violence against all perceived MDC supporters in the area”.

The MDC-T also reported that members of the violent ZANU PF sponsored
Chipangano gang addressed a meeting in Mutoko East where the ZANU PF
district chairperson, Ingidzai Kapondoro, encouraged party youths to beat up
MDC supporters in the area.

The same group of violent youths, led by Ruddy Ndoro, disrupted a peaceful
MDC-T meeting in ward 26 Murehwa West later that same day. A statement by
the MDC-T said the district chairman suffered serious head injuries after
the gang assaulted participants, but he was too scared to seek medical
treatment at St Paul’s Mission Hospital nearby because ZANU PF youth
informers are employed there.

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