ZANU PF threatens villagers in Chegutu and Mberengwa

Villagers are being reminded of the 2008 post election violence

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 January 2013

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 their books.

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 community.

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.

14 Responsesto “ZANU PF threatens villagers in Chegutu and Mberengwa”

  1. Hokoyo says:

    It’s high time the names of those preaching threats of violence is compiled into a databse for the near future use. A short paragraph describing events around the perpetrator would be ideal

    • GBZ says:

      I do believe the database is there to a large extent and I believe zpf are aware of it and thus all provocative stops being pulled out to intimidate the population into sbmission.This is a time for national strength, and many are going to be squirming with fear when we win this election.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        Whilst I do not discount the importance of documenting human rights abuses, still I have to challenge the logic of flogging a dead horse.

        Last year a MDC supporter in Zaka was set upon by known Zanu PF thugs who cut off the man’s hands so he “could never use them to make the MDC hand-sign”, the thugs boasted. The thugs went on to kill their victim. None of the thugs have ever been arrested’

        In 2008 over 500 mostly MDC supporters were murdered to say nothing of hundreds of thousands beaten or rape. None of those responsible for committing these crime have never been arrested.

        Let me state it here and now: it is not for the lack of details and witnesses that nothing is ever done about Zimbabwe’s culture of political violence. What has been lacking is the political will by the Police, the Judiciary and most important of all their political masters. Indeed the political violence is serving the political masters very well, thank you.

        We have here in writing a new democratic constitution a real chance to end the culture of violence by taking law and order out of the whim of the politicians. It is therefore folly to accept a feeble Copac constitution that will not end the violence which is what MDC and instead hope better data collection of the cases will help.

        When faced with a thug wielding an AK 47 rifle it is folly to refuse a gun to defend yourself and picking a stick instead! When the going gets tough, the murderous Zanu PF juggernaut is in overdrive, where will you GBZ and Hokoyo be; as for Tsvangirai, he will have another Usain Bolt dash for the Netherlands Embassy leaving the povo to face the music!

        Zimbabwe does not have to go through yet another bloody election process; not if the agreed democratic reforms are implemented first. Those coming up with all manner of hare-brain schemes to somehow mitigate the violence are missing the point completely. Stop the elections until the reforms are implemented that is what the nation should focus on.

  2. wilbert_mukori says:

    It is no longer a question whether or not there will be political violence in Zimbabwe during the coming elections; the violence is already here. The Zanu PF intimidation, always the precursor to the beating, rape and worse to follow, has started and is gathering momentum.

    There are those who want to believe Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his MDC
    party’s promise that the new Copac constitution will bring free and fair
    elections – free of violence. Forgive me for panicking Mr. Prime Minister, Zimbabwe must not go through the violence of 2008 ever again. Sir, just how and when will MDC stop this Zanu PF juggernaut before it goes into second phase when people will forced to flee for their lives, be beaten and raped then the final and deadly phase when many will be murdered?

    Mr. Prime Minister, you do not have the foggiest idea how to stop the Zanu PF violence; do you? When the going gets tough you will off to the Netherland Embassy and leave the poor people in Mberengwa Saungweme is talking about and the rest all over Zimbabwe to face the music as best as they can!

  3. david taylor says:

    The violence continues, and there is absolutely no evidence that it will stop. This kind of brutality is just unacceptable! ZANU-PF has no intention of ever giving up power, and the MDC has helped draft a constitution that will maintain the status quo.

    What is the point of voting yes? It is like having a choice between being castrated or being killed, and then voting to be castrated (because it is the better of the two). There is another choice – vote no, and demand a people-driven constitution and a democratically-elected government.

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      Well Tsvangirai is asking people to vote yes on the understanding that the Copas constitution, passed, will stop the violence. If he told the people the truth that voting yes will NOT stop the violence and voting NO will force the implementation of the reforms and thus STOP the violence; there can be no doubt people will vote NO.

      Tsvangirai’s main problem with telling the people the truth is that you would have to go back on his word to Mugabe that he accept the Copac constitution. He would certainly lose his US$ 3 million house plus all the other gravy train perks he got and worse still he knows Mugabe will see to it that he never got on the gravy train ever again. As far as Tsvangirai is concerned Mugabe is the godfather of Zimbabwe politics his wish is law!

      People have deluded themselves into see Tsvangirai as his own man challenging Mugabe and rule the country. Tsvangirai has never seen himself that way at all, the highest he has ever aspired to was ruling Zimbabwe with Mugabe’s help and blessing; that is way Tsvangirai was more than content to sign the GPA with himself as a junior partner with no real power other than what his master, Mugabe, grants him!

    • GBZ says:

      Yep I agree sir, I will vote NO, and I hope all the opposition parties to zpf vote no and then we will see what the real sons of Zimbabwe want! God Bless Zimbabwe and deliver us from these evil thugs.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        Good for you GBZ!

        If we vote yes then we will only have ourselves to blame for what will follow. Kunenge kuri kurumwa nechokuchera!

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      David I do not think the choice before us is that grime. we all know the Copac constitution is not going to deliver our most basic rights including the right to free and fair elections and the right to life itself. We know none of the reforms have been implemented. We can see with our own eyes the escalating violence. We know Mugabe “dictated” the Copac rubbish for Christ sake.

      Along comes Tsvangirai and he say the Copac constitution is the democratic constitution we all wanted, the violence will stop (but does not say when or how) and we should all trust him and approve the Copac rubbish. If the violence get worse he will be off like a bullet to the Netherland Embassy leaving us to face Chipangano thugs.

      Frankly is the people are stupid enough to vote yes here then they deserve all Mugabe can dishout to them! The only people I feel sorry for are the millions in the rural area who, for no fault of their own, will vote without ever understanding the choices before them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Vakai Makuverere should be burnt alive this year. He is so stupid that he do not know what peace in the country is. Kill him.

  5. Jill says:

    The problem is that if we reject this constitution, there is no provision as I understand it in the GPA for creating a better one before the election. This would mean that elections would be held under the old constitution. The new one is certainly not perfect, but it is an improvement on the old.

    Concerning the violence: we need to petition SADC and the AU to put election observers in place immediately, not just a couple of days before the election. It is impossible to hold a free and fair election under these conditions.

    • david taylor says:

      Part (only part, laugh) of me agrees with you on this – perhaps we need a better explanation from both MDC’s why this constitution is better than the last.

      It would be useful to know why it would be better to go into elections with the new rather than the old constitution. Not political jargon, but real concrete reasons.

      How is this new constitution going to improve the lives of Zimbabweans? Why should we feel so much more optimistic about our future with this new constitution?

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        The GNU was tasked to produce a democratic constitution and the people are going to vote on whether or not the Copac constitution is the democratic constitution they expected. Even MDC has admitted that the Copac rubbish will not guarantee free and fair elections hence the call for the reforms to be implemented.

        Well if the Copac rubbish does not guarantee this basic right it is not the constitution we wanted is it?

        It seems people KNOW the Copac constitution is rubbish but are looking for excuses why they should accept it. One excuse is that PM Tsvangirai says accept it!

    • wilbert_mukori says:

      The consequences of voting yes are:

      a) Zimbabwe can move on to the next stage and hold fresh elections
      confident they will be free and fair. If they are not then Zimbabweans have
      only themselves to blame for approving a process which they could see was rotten through and through.

      b) SADC, as the regional guarantor of the GPA, and the
      international community can rightly wash their hands of Zimbabwe. If a
      defective political process that denies citizen even the most basic right to
      free and fair elections is what the people of Zimbabwe want, then outsidersmust not interfere.

      The consequences of a no vote are:

      a) Zimbabweans will have rejected that enough has been done to guarantee free and fair elections and the logical thing would be to revisit the reforms and rewrite the constitution. Elections will have to be put on hold until the guarantees they will be free and fair.

      b) SADC will be duty bound to assist Zimbabwe to ensure there are
      free and fair elections. The international community will assist and make sure the people are not once again denied this basic and fundamental right.

      c) Zimbabwe’s next election will be free and fair and the country can be assured of good, democratic and account governments from there on. The country’s climb out of the economic and political hell-hole will have final began in earnest.

      As for having election monitors, Zimbabwe can have them but remember they did not stop the violence last time. And before you ask, SADC is not going to send any Police or Army Officers. Zimbabweans must vote no if they think the GNU has not done enough to stop the violence and get that done.

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