By Alex Bell
24 September 2012
The MDC led by Welshman Ncube has called for the arrest of a group of people dressed in army camouflage, who attacked party supporters in Mutoko last Friday.
Scores of people were forced to scatter and hide while at least six individuals were hospitalised at Mutoko hospital, after the attack by suspected soldiers. The attack followed a party rally at Mutoko Business Centre, where Ncube told his supporters that the country’s security sector must not be allowed to meddle in politics.
“We will not retreat or compromise on our position that the elections must be held under the free and fair conditions. These conditions are clearly spelt in the GPA. We want the SADC to push these generals to make a public enforceable commitment to respect the results of the elections. It’s the highest undemocratic practice for the military to seek to subvert the will of the people. As MDC we are not scared of the free and fair election because we are confident we will win over all other parties,” Ncube said.
Party spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube told SW Radio Africa on Monday that the rally was peaceful until the party leadership left the venue to travel to Harare. He explained that many of their supporters remained, singing songs and socialising.
“As soon as we left, people in camouflage descended on the venue and starting attack people. These soldiers beat up our supporters, people were forced to run away and hide. It was totally mayhem,” Dube said.
Dube said there has been no attempt by army officials to distance it from the attacks or deny the involvement of its soldiers, and as such “we will of course believe they are complicit.” He also called on the security forces to unite for the good of Zimbabweans to bring the perpetrators of such violence to book.
“Soldiers and the army must come clean and clean up their image apprehend the people responsible for this,” Dube said.
He meanwhile raised concern that the attacks are a sign of things to come if there is no attempt to rein in the security sector.
“It is indicative of the problems likely to arise around elections, because we saw how the security forces were deployed by ZANU PF in the 2008 elections to unleash violence,” Dube said.