ZANU PF threatens villagers in Chegutu and Mberengwa
By Tererai Karimakwenda
Village heads and traditional leaders continue to be targeted by ZANU PF
officials, who are demanding lists of all the residents under their
jurisdiction and a breakdown of what political party they support.
Voters in many parts of the country are also being reminded of the election
violence from 2008, believed to be part of a campaign by ZANU PF to instil
fear in the electorate ahead of elections due later this year.
Reports were recently received from Mberengwa South, Masvingo Province, that
ZANU PF councillor Vakai Makuverere and two other party officials threatened
to beat up headmen and sabhukus who had more than five MDC supporters on
According to SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, Makuverere told
residents that they ‘seem to have forgotten’ what was done after the
elections in 2008. He said they would “deal with” those who continue to
support any party other than ZANU PF.
Saungweme said: “Makuverere addressed residents at Makuverere Business
Centre in Mberengwa South on January 15. He was in the company of Rumbidzai
Bera, the ZANU PF Women’s Wing Chairperson for Ward 24, and another
identified as ZANU PF Coordinator, Sibusisiwe Siwela.”
At the meeting, which took place last week Tuesday, Makuverere demanded that
each village head bring separate lists of ZANU PF and MDC-T members in the
Makuverere is quoted as saying: “I want these lists because people seem to
have forgotten what we did to them in 2008.”
In the run-up to the 2008 presidential runoff, ZANU PF embarked on a brutal
campaign of violence against supporters of the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai.
Hundreds of perceived enemies were murdered, thousands were assaulted or
tortured and hundreds of thousands displaced.
Makuverere added: “We want to know how many MDC-T supporters you have in
your book. If a Village Head has more than five names of MDC-T members in
his book, we will not only beat him up. We will deal with him. Everybody
here knows how. Be warned.”
Saungweme said Mberengwa was hit hard by the election violence of 2008, and
many victims of ZANU PF attacks arrived in Bulawayo that year with horrific
injuries and stories to tell.
A Chegutu activist named Machacha told SW Radio Africa that residents in the
town and remote areas are being reminded that the house of the Mayor at the
time, Francis Dhlakama, was bombed in 2008.
The MDC secretary general for Mashonaland West in 2008, Gift Konjana, was
also victimised. And the home of Councillor Gadzema from ward 20 was burned
down and any remaining parts were sold.
These reminders of the vicious violence campaign of 2008 have caused many
observers to dismiss Robert Mugabe’s repeated calls for peace. It is widely
believed that Mugabe says one thing while his party officials and supporters
do the exact opposite.
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