Who will protect people from Chipangano?
HARARE – Human rights activist Stendrick Zvorwadza has become the latest
victim of the ruthlessness of Chipangano, a vigilante group aligned to
former ruling party Zanu PF.
Civil society groups, church organisations and political parties, including
those in the coalition government, accuse Chipangano of causing terror in
the political hot bed of Mbare.
Zvorwadza, who has business interests in Mbare said on January 28 this year,
he was mobbed by about 50 youths wielding sticks and stones.
He said the group wanted Zvorwadza, who has a petroleum company in the area,
to abandon his project in the poor suburb.
The businessman, who is also the spokesperson for the Restoration of Human
Rights (Rohr), was subsequently taken to Matapi Police Station where he made
Upon arrival at the station, Zvorwadza said he got the surprise of his life
when Zanu PF youth chairman Jim Kunaka manhandled him in full view of the
“Kunaka held me by the shoulders and started shaking me. I ran into a small
office where I hid.
“Outside, the group of youth was chanting, hausi mwana weropa naizvozvo
muMbare haumushande. Zanu PF yaka deura ropa revanhu vakawanda rako
haringashamise (You are not a son of the soil therefore you cannot work in
Mbare, Zanu PF has spilt a lot of blood and yours will not be an
exception),” Zvorwadza quoted the youth singing.
In narrating his ordeal, the Rohr spokesperson said he was disheartened by
the lack of police action after he was attacked in their presence.
He bemoaned the partisan manner in which his case was handled by police at
Matapi Police Station.
“When are the police going to stop partisan policing? Their actions are
undermining the peace-building efforts the country is trying to put in
place,” a defiant Zvorwadza said.
Kunaka denied ever attacking Zvorwadza at Matapi Police Station. He,
however, did not deny that he was part of the group of youths at the station
on January 28.
“Don’t you know that assault is a crime in this country? If I assaulted him
at the police station, why wasn’t I arrested?
“I do not think that is true,” Kunaka told the Daily News. Quizzed on his
role in Chipangano, Kunaka said he had no idea what Chipangano was about. I
do not even know what Chipangano is. I don’t know if it is a club or a bar.
These are just stories spread by those people from the opposition.”
“They are scared of me because my ground is secure. They want my things. I
have all the youths and their tricks will not work because ndiri
chandagwinyira (I am resolute),” Kunaka said.
Recently, Morden Chirwa, a Zanu PF Mbare official was arraigned before the
courts to answer charges of rape.
Chipangano is believed to be in Mbare based at Charter House.
Residents in Mbare are now living in fear of this group which has a tendency
of dealing ruthlessly with its enemies.
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