By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 December, 2012
A gang of ZANU PF thugs, directed by their local leaders, is reported to have abducted three MDC-T members from Chegutu on Sunday, as they returned home from a soccer match organised by the MDC-T.
According to Zvenyika, a local activist who spoke to their families, 30 year old Tichaona Gombingo and teenagers Christon Banda and Masimba Madombwe were taken from Gadzema Township and driven to a torture base in a compound owned by the Ministry of Transport.
“That’s where one of the perpetrators called Fani resides. He was with Biggie and other gold panners who are beneficiaries of an empowerment project being spearheaded by a woman who is the local councillor, Mai Pfute,” Zvenyika said.
Mai Pfute is the ZANU PF councillor for ward 22, rural Chegutu. Our contact said she has been recruiting local gold panners as part of her so-called empowerment programme and has turned this into a violent, political campaign.
The ZANU PF gang allegedly tortured and interrogated the trio, saying they wanted to discourage other youth in the area from participating in MDC-T activities. They were dumped back in Gadzema Township on Tuesday.
Zvenyika said: “At the moment the two young guys have not been able to report back to school. The local leadership there is trying to make arrangements for them to be taken to Harare for treatment because they are not feeling well after being tortured and beaten.”
A statement from the MDC-T said local ZANU PF thugs named Judha and Giga from ward 21, Gadzema Township, were seen driving in a White Nissan Elgrand that was used in the abduction on Sunday.
Mashonaland West is a very volatile province where ZANU PF has deployed large numbers of youths trained at the so-called Border Gezi youth militia camps. Trusted sources have told us that after graduation, the youths were incorporated into the army, but live at home with their families in order to spy on other villagers.
The youths put on their green uniforms once a month when their salaries come and are summoned to ZANU PF district offices for meetings and briefings. They are then used whenever the party officials want to cause mayhem or intimidate anyone who supports other parties.
The Chegutu abductions come just a week after a group of soldiers went on a rampage in Zhombe and attacked MDC-T supporters who had attended a rally at Samambwe. Several people, including two elderly men, sustained serious injuries from the brutal beatings and were hospitalised.