By Tererai Karimakwenda
SW Radio Africa
29 July, 2014
The home of a district official in the MDC-Team Renewal party is reported to have been completely destroyed in a fiery blaze on Sunday, as the breakaway political group held a leadership meeting in Mutare.
A desperate Peter Fumayi told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that the fire destroyed his house in Nyanga along with all his belongings, which included the family’s clothes, blankets, food and household goods.
Speaking in Shona, Fumayi said fortunately there was no-one at home at the time, as he had left to attend the renewal team leadership meeting in Mutare and his wife was at a Sunday church service along with their 3-month old baby.
Fumayi said no-one had come forward as witnesses, but he suspects that he had been targeted because of his role as an active district chairperson for Nyanga in the MDC-Team Renewal.
The incident was reported to the police, but without naming any suspects and with no witnesses they said it was impossible to investigate any further.
Pishai Muchauraya, Renewal spokesperson in Manicaland, said their officials have been receiving threats from their former colleagues in the MDC-T since the party split earlier this year, following Renewal calls to replace party president Morgan Tsvangirai.
According to Muchauraya, Mutare City councillors under Tsvangirai are intimidating council workers who support the Renewal Team, threatening to fire them from their jobs if they become members.
Muchauraya said they have received reports of threats and intimidation from officials and supporters in Rusape, Mutare, Mutasa North and Nyanga.
Fumayi said his situation was desperate since he lost his grass thatched hut, which was home. But he insisted the incident has only served to strengthen his support for the Renewal Team and he would continue to act as district chairperson.
There has been a struggle for control of party assets and offices since the MDC-T split again this year, with secretary general Tendai Biti leading the Renewal Team that was calling for Morgan Tsvangirai to step down as party president.
It now appears the split has created a more chaotic political environment in Zimbabwe.