Violent Chipangano gang campaigning for ZANU PF
By Tererai Karimakwenda
The violent ZANU PF youth gang that has terrorised residents of Mbare suburb
in Harare has reportedly started campaigning for the party, forcing innocent
civilians to reveal their personal details and ordering them to vote for
Robert Mugabe in the next election.
The Chipangano gang, who operate with impunity and with the support of top
ZANU PF officials, have been regularly forcing local residents, vendors and
passersby to attend ZANU PF rallies held on open grounds in the area.
The most recent incident occurred last Saturday at Number Five grounds near
Mbare Netball Complex, where people with no identity documents were told to
reveal their details to the group, on the promise that Chipangano would
approach the Registrar General for help in registering them to vote.
Givemore Chipere from the community radio station CORAH told SW Radio Africa
that residents in the area confirmed that the rally was addressed by youth
militia and ZANU PF officials, who ordered them to prepare for elections by
registering and to make sure they voted for Robert Mugabe.
“There are quite a number of residents there who don’t have identity cards
and they were promised that the Registrar General would come to Mbare and
they would be given documents with their names so they can vote,” Chipere
He added that there is also an element of fear because anyone who refuses is
accused of being a supporter of the MDC formations. “This is very dangerous
in Mbare because if you support the MDC you are considered an enemy and can
be targetted,” Chipere said.
The activist said violence by Chipangano in Mbare has intensified but there
has not been much coverage of incidents in the mainstream media. According
to Chipere, the gang has gained so much power that even the police are too
scared to interfere.
His description of the situation in the high density suburb of Harare
confirms reports previously made to this radio station by the MP for the
area, Piniel Denga, who has said the constituency is controlled by the ZANU
PF youths with support from top party officials and the police. Denga said
victims who report to the police end up getting arrested.
The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) met this week to
discuss the issue of the intensifying violence in the country. However no
information was made available as to the outcome of that meeting.
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