By Tererai Karimakwenda
02 November 2012
The brutal assault on an MDC-T official and his wife, which happened Wednesday night in Kadoma, has fuelled anger among Zimbabweans and sparked fears that political violence is intensifying ahead of elections due next year.
The attack has also focused attention on Robert Mugabe, who on several occasions recently said publicly that he wants peace and tolerance between party supporters. Critics are now questioning the ZANU PF leader’s sincerity, saying he must order police to arrest all known perpetrators and investigate incidents that are reported.
The MDC-T Treasurer for Midlands North, John Kinnaird and his wife Jackie, were assaulted by a group of four ZANU PF thugs who broke into their home in Kadoma Wednesday night and escaped with $2,000 and two cell phones.
The thugs wore ZANU PF regalia and dropped a ZANU PF bandana during the attack. John Kinnaird said they kept asking for money, appearing to be robbers after some cash. But he believes the assault was politically motivated.
Kinnaird spoke to SW Radio Africa on Friday, just as his wife was coming out of surgery to treat the broken arm she sustained during the attack. He said: “I don’t believe for a minute that it was a simple robbery. I just believe strongly that there was a political motive.”
Kinnaird explained that there were two laptops next to the money taken by the thugs and his wife’s jewellery was on a dressing table next to that as well. He added that his legs were tied and his wife was incapacitated by the time the thugs left, but they did not take any other valuables.
“I think the fact that I am becoming increasingly popular here in Kadoma and Eiffel Flats is the reason that I was targeted. They were trying to bully me into giving up my political activism. I’ve been an activist since 1999 and I will not bow down to any bullies,” Kinnaird stressed.
There has also been criticism of the MDC-T, for continuing to do business as usual while their innocent supporters are being victimised by ZANU PF and agents of the state, including the police and soldiers.
According to medical reports 56-year old John Kinnaird sustained multiple head wounds and required 14 stitches. He also suffered a fractured right arm and deep puncture wounds on his legs and just below his throat. These were the result of repeated blows with a metal wheel spanner.
His wife Jackie got a bruised throat where she was almost strangled by the ZANU PF youth. She also has a compound fracture on her left arm, which was operated on Friday afternoon.
Kinnaird explained that whenever Robert Mugabe speaks publicly of peace and non-violence, it seems the opposite situation prevails and violence flares up soon after that.
“My experience in my political life is that when Mugabe starts talking about peace, what happens on the ground is diametrically opposite. There are now targeted acts of intimidation and violence against known MDC-T supporters like myself,” Kinnaird explained.
He said the police told him on Friday that they have no leads and no clues that they can investigate. Yet they took a weapon that was left in his house by one of the assailants. According to Kinnaird, the police just seemed uninterested.
This attack is just the latest in the ongoing violence against anyone perceived to support the opposition.
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