Political violence grips Masvingo

October 17, 2011 at 9:55 am Leave a comment

By Godfrey Mtimba

Ugly scenes of political violence have revisited rural Masvingo
with suspected Zanu PF thugs setting ablaze the homestead of a mainstream
MDC official in Bikita South.

The attack on MDC secretary Hazwell Muchemwa’s homestead in Matiore village,
comes barely a week after a bus belonging to Bikita South MP Jani Vharandeni
was torched.

The resurgent violence has angered the MDC in Masvingo and party members
have vowed to launch revenge attacks.
MDC Masvingo provincial spokesperson Harrison Mudzuri warned Zanu PF and
government that his party will not fold hands and watch while its members
are attacked.

“This is too much and we are saying whoever is doing this must be stopped
before we defend ourselves and retaliate. We can’t continue to fold our
hands and watch when properties belonging to our members are reduced to
ashes by the people we know.”

“MP Vharandeni lost his AVM bus that serviced the constituency and now
inside three days our district secretary’s house is razed to the ground,”
said Mudzuri.

Muchemwa the district secretary said he lost properties worth thousands of
dollars during the attack.

“My homestead was torched by unknown assailants but we believe they are our
rivals from Zanu PF. I lost property worth thousands of dollars from the
attack. I wasn’t at home when the incident happened as I had gone to
Masvingo city but my maid said the attack was done in the wee hours and she
was awakened by heat from the flame and went out to call for help but it was
too late,” he said.

He said he believed this was done because some Zanu PF members were not
happy with role he played together with Vharandeni in organising transport
for people in the area to go and attend a recent rally addressed by
Tsvangirai in Gutu.

Vharandeni a transport operator who owns a fleet of buses under the name
Mubuku bus service was the first to be attacked when his bus was burnt.

The bus attack took place at Mashoko Mission business centre where it was
parked for the night.

“My bus was burnt in the early hours of Monday by people we suspected to be
war veterans because we have had problems with them over the
Masvingo-Mashoko route it plies,” said Vharandeni.

The two have since made police reports at Mashoko Police Station were the
police promised to launch investigations.
Masvingo Police Spokesperson, Inspector Tinaye Matake declined to comment.

“I am not in the office call me later. I can’t comment at the moment,” said
Matake.

However, Mudzuri said his party would be forced to mobilise its youths to
defend themselves.

He warned the principals of the three political parties to address the issue
of violence in the country.

“First of all, I want to warn Zanu PF to stop their thugs and also warn the
leaders of the parties in the inclusive government to do something to stop
this mess. We are now at a point where we cannot take that any more. We can
mobilise our members and retaliate and defend ourselves from these thugs but
we do not want things to go that way,” Mudzuri said.

He said government should make sure that the people behind the attacks are
apprehended and instructed police to arrest them and apply the law in a fair
manner.

MDC legislators and officials in the province have been targets of arson by
rowdy Zanu PF youths and war veterans.

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