More than 20 injured after ZANU PF attack in Highfields

September 8, 2011 at 7:27 am Leave a comment

By Alex Bell

More than 20 people have been hospitalised after a ZANU PF led attack in
Highfields on Wednesday, which also saw businesses being looted and shut
down.

A gang of ZANU PF youths, believed to be part of the notorious  were bussed into the area on Wednesday morning, before unleashing
violence on market vendors and other passersby at the Machipisa shopping
centre.

The gang, which eyewitnesses told SW Radio Africa was led by Chipangano
leader Jim Kunaka, looted and damaged market stalls and indiscriminately
beat up anyone in their way.

A market stall owner told SW Radio Africa that riot police, who were out in
force in the area, did nothing to stop the attacks. It was only after the
vendors tried to retaliate to protect their property that police moved in
and fired tear gas. But they fired at the victims of the attack.

SW Radio Africa’s Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa said that the police
presence was high because the Chipangano gang had sent out warnings earlier
this week that they would target Machipisa. The ZANU PF youths apparently
warned that they would come to take over the market stalls as part of the
party’s ‘indigenisation’ drive. It would appear that to Chipangano, black
Zimbabweans at the Machipisa shopping centre are not regarded as indigenous.

Muchemwa explained that the violence in Highfields is not an isolated
attack, adding that ZANU PF attacks have been reported almost every day
since last Thursday.

“Last week MDC supporters were beaten in Budiriro when they put up posters
ahead of a rally for Welshman Ncube’s party. And then at the rally on
Saturday, more people were taken away and seriously beaten,” Muchemwa said.

He added that in Mufakose on Sunday the same Chipangano gang attacked people
and looted a bar, apparently owned by a supporter of the MDC led by Ncube.

The violence in Highfields comes a day after a mob of ZANU PF youths
attacked people outside Parliament, where crowds had gathered for the
opening of a new parliamentary session. At least two people, including an
MDC-T official and a journalist, were injured after the mob started beating
up anyone they thought were MDC supporters.

The journalist, Henry Chimbiri, spent a night in hospital. He was then
arrested on Wednesday morning when he tried to make a police report at
Harare Central police station. It’s understood he is being held for taking
photographs without police permission.

The violence in the capital also came as ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe
denounced violence, during the opening of parliament on Tuesday. A
commentator told SW Radio Africa that if Mugabe truly wanted violence to
end, his orders would be carried out. But Mugabe’s public sentiments are
insincere because his party continues to use violence against the people.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

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