By Tichaona Sibanda
26 February 2013
The MDC-T has dispatched to the regional SADC bloc a dossier on the recent upsurge in violence in Zimbabwe, the party’s secretary-general Tendai Biti has said.
Briefing journalists in Harare on Monday, the Finance Minister said his party will request SADC leaders to convene an extraordinary meeting to tackle the recent upsurge in electoral violence.
“Events in the country are degenerating into what happened in 2008. SADC must act now to prevent the escalation of violence,” Biti said.
Sources told SW Radio Africa that the party has a ‘massive dossier’ of events in the past months where a number of party activities have been killed, intimidated, assaulted and prevented from registering to vote in general elections expected in July.
The latest killing was that of 12 year-old Christpower Maisiri who died in a suspected arson attack in Headlands on Saturday. Biti claimed the house Christpower was sleeping in was fire-bombed by elements linked to the powerful ZANU PF Minister Didymus Mutasa.
Mutasa is the ZANU PF MP for Headlands while Christpower’s father, Shepherd is an MDC-T official who is challenging the ZANU PF stalwart in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
For two months after the March 2008 polls, the country was consumed by violence and forced evictions. The ZANU PF militia, aided by the partisan security forces cracked down on known MDC supporters, killing over 500, maiming thousands more and forced half a million others from their homes.
Surprisingly nobody has yet been convicted by the courts. Human rights activists routinely point out that no ZANU PF activists, party members, armed state security agents or ministers or generals who incited and funded the trigger-happy gangs have been held to account to the bloody violence five years ago.
Since 2000, after the formation of the MDC, elections in Zimbabwe have been divisive and violent. There have been disturbances in 2002, and again in 2005 before 2008 exploded.