MDC activists attacked, hospitalised
HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party says two of its
members are in hospital in Harare after they were attacked by suspected
supporters of President Robert Mugabe in a new wave of political violence in
The MDC said the two victims were abducted by a group of militants youths
from Mugabe’s ZANU (PF) and taken to secret hideouts where they were
severely assaulted, sustaining serious injures before being released.
Their suspected attackers, who are well known to the police and members of
the public, have not yet been arrested or questioned.
In a statement, the MDC said one of the victims, Mary Pamire, was traveling
to Kuwadzana suburb, west of Harare city centre, when, upon disembarking
from a public commuter bus she was traveling in, she was seized by three men
who bundled her into a car and drove away with her.
“They drove her to a secluded place where she was severely assaulted the
whole night. She was released the following day and sought treatment at a
local hospital where she is still admitted,” the party said.
Another MDC activist, Johannes Dehwe, was last Saturday kidnapped from Mbare
township and severely assaulted. He was also in hospital, the MDC said.
Political violence has returned in the last few weeks between supporters of
Mugabe and Tsvangirai, two long time rivals who were forced to share power
in a coalition government after disputed elections in 2008.
Mugabe and his ZANU (PF) — who had wanted elections this year — are now
pressing for fresh elections by early next year, saying the unity government
that has stabilised the economy and rekindled investor confidence in the
devastated country has run its course.
The veteran President last week vowed to call polls in March 2012, and
appeared to suggest he would do so even if his coalition partners were not
The MDC as well as civil society groups say any polls that are not preceded
by comprehensive electoral reforms, including a new constitution, will lead
to bloodshed and another disputed outcome.
Tsvangirai, whom, in terms of the power-sharing agreement, Mugabe must
consult before calling elections, told his supporters at the weekend that he
would oppose holding of new polls unless all outstanding electoral reforms
have been completed.
The former opposition leader also wants the regional Southern African
Development Community (SADC) bloc, the African Union and the United Nations
to monitor the polls to ensure they are free and fair.
Zimbabwe’s previous elections have been marked by violence since
independence in 1980 and the security service has been accused of helping
ZANU (PF) supporters, war veterans and youth militia in a violent campaign
against Mugabe’s opponents, especially the MDC.
ZANU-PF denies the charge, instead the former ruling party says this is
propaganda peddled by MDC to gain international sympathy and justify its
losses at the ballot box. – ZimOnline
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