Zvimba district becomes ‘no go’ area for MDC-T
By Tichaona Sibanda
Stung by significant inroads made by the MDC-T in Zvimba, gangs of ZANU PF
youths are turning Robert Mugabe’s home district into a no-go zone.
For two weeks in a row elements in ZANU PF, aided by state security agents
and soldiers, have blocked the MDC-T from holding rallies in Darwendale and
Zvimba. On both occasions Tendai Biti, the Secretary-General of the party,
was scheduled to address the rallies.
While the rally in Darwendale last week was disrupted by soldiers, Sunday’s
planned gathering was cancelled at the behest of Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo, according to the Zvimba Rural District Council acting chief
executive officer Prince Mhembere. Chombo is the ZANU PF MP for the
neighboring Zvimba North constituency.
Paradzai Herbert Munangatire, the MDC-T information and publicity secretary
for Zvimba West told SW Radio Africa that they had secured police clearance
to hold their rally at Murombedzi growth point.
‘When we were in the middle of setting up the venue, we sensed trouble was
brewing when hordes of people just invaded the pitch and started verbally
abusing us and blocking our supporters from coming in. Some youths started
playing football and the area just became very tense.
‘At some point we were pelted with stones and quite a number of our
supporters were injured, and the violence continued into the night when one
of our senior district officials was stabbed and left for dead,’ Munangatire
Munangatire added that Sunday was a sad day for politics and democracy in
Zimbabwe, especially as the disturbances took place on Mugabe’s doorstep.
‘Everybody knows who is responsible for the violence and grievous attacks on
our members and no one will dare investigate what happened because this is
Mugabe’s home area.
‘I think the resurgence of political violence is an attack on the country’s
fledgling democracy and the right of the people to civil liberty and freedom
of association,’ Munangatire said.