|Health Minister Parirenyatwa organising violence in Murehwa
By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 April, 2008
We have received disturbing reports that ruling party thugs under the direction of ZANU-PF officials, shut down all the shops in the town of Murehwa on Friday and forced vendors and local residents to a meeting at Zihute Hall, where they were threatened with violence. There are also reports of assaults by ZANU-PF thugs around the Mutoko and Mudzi area. It appears the same thugs have now moved to Murehwa.
Our Murehwa contact, Kumbirai, said ZANU-PF thugs abducted their youth member Kingston Zinhu on Friday and they fear he may be victimized as an example to others. MDC youths have been sent to try and save him.
The Minister of Health David Parirenyatwa, who is also the MP for Murehwa North, addressed the meeting in Murehwa and said they have all the names of opposition activists and sympathizers and would be going round on Friday night to beat them up as a lesson. He threatened that voting for the opposition was the same as voting for war and they should think about this in the next election. Also addressing the meeting was the ZANU-PF losing Senatorial candidate for Murehwa West, Mai Zemura, the District Coordinating Committee chairperson Mavhungire and the winning Senatorial candidate for Murehwa North, Bright Makunde.
Kumbirai told us that the trouble started on Thursday when brand new twin cab trucks arrived in Murehwa, each with 4 ruling party thugs. The vehicles went to a shop owned by a local ZANU-PF businessman who took care of all their needs. Kumbirai said he watched as they were given 10 bags of mealie meal and were treated to some roasted meat.
He said these thugs were in plain clothes and armed with shotguns. They had sleeping bags and luggage that made it clear they were on a mission. “Vakati tauya kuzoona kuti kuchinja kwamaita ndekupi”, said Kumbirai, meaning ‘they said we have come to see how you have changed since you keep saying chinja.”
As we reported ZANU-PF has been targeting specific people who made the opposition victory possible in the rural and urban areas. Opposition candidates are prime targets, regardless of whether they won or lost. Activists who campaigned with them have also become targets.