Political violence leaves dozens injured in Harare South
By Tichaona Sibanda
The area surrounding Crest Breeders on the outskirts of Harare turned into a
combat zone on Tuesday as ZANU PF supporters indiscriminately attacked a
group of MDC activists.
Crest Breeders falls under Harare South, the only parliamentary constituency
held by ZANU PF in the Harare metropolitan area. The incumbent MP, Hubert
Nyanhongo is ZANU PF’s deputy Minister of Energy and Power development.
The retired army officer has abandoned the constituency and has now set his
sights on the Nyanga North seat held by the MDC-T spokesman Douglas
Jacob Mafume, the newly elected MDC-T parliamentary candidate for Harare
South, told SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program that the unprovoked
attack left a number of party activists injured, three of them seriously.
The lawyer-cum politician deplored the attacks and urged leaders in ZANU PF
to act immediately to address the political violence and intimidation that
their supporters still use against the MDC.
Mafume, currently a legal advisor in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
office, said it is clear many of ZANU PF’s leaders use political violence to
prevail in elections. He explained that such struggles for political office
are often waged in the streets by criminal gangs, recruited by politicians
to help them hold on to power.
‘Our supporters were attacked on the pretext that Harare South is a ZANU PF
stronghold and no one should dare wear anything other than ZANU PF regalia.
‘But the margin of victory in the 2008 elections is not that wide to suggest
it’s a ZANU PF territory. What we have is an orchestrated campaign by known
people intending to butcher their way to victory in Harare,’ Mafume added.
He stressed that the attackers are well known figures in the area, but have
not been arrested because of their political connections.
‘The problem we have in this country is people speak in forked tongues on
electoral violence. The more people in ZANU PF preach peace, the more their
supporters prepare arms of violence,’ said Mafume.
The level of violence has reached a point where party principals in the GPA
urgently need to restrain their supporters. President Mugabe has lately been
saying that elections should be peaceful, but the ZANU PF leader has made
similar pronouncements before, but they have never been followed through by
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