5 MDC members hospitalised after Mbare attack by ZANU-PF youth

By Tererai Karimakwenda
13 March, 2008

Violence against officials and members of the opposition has intensified, despite the arrival of a regional observer team in Harare on Wednesday. At least 5 supporters of the Tsvangirai MDC were hospitalised on Wednesday after they were attacked by a gang of youths known to be ZANU-PF members in Mbare high-density suburb of Harare. One of the victims, Simba Maringwa, is reported to be in intensive care battling for his life.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said a group of about 200 ZANU-PF supporters, affiliated with the infamous Mbare gang called Chipangano, ambushed 20 MDC supporters as they were campaigning for MDC candidate Piniel Denga in Mbare.

Tendai Savanhu, the ZANU-PF candidate for Mbare, has been implicated in this incident. Chamisa said he was seen driving around Mbare communicating with members of Chipangano on his mobile phone.

Several MDC members were wounded seriously and were taken to the Avenues Clinic in Harare. Chamisa identified them as Simba Maringwa, Trymore Matsitsira, Wellington Chigumaze, Jeffrey Chikwavayera. Mazhinji. Maringwa is in the intensive care unit.

Chamisa blasted ZANU-PF for using what he called a “private militia” to intimidate their members. He also accused the police of not dealing with these attacks seriously, and in a non-partisan manner. He said attacks on their members and officials are being reported countrywide. Asked whether the MDC would report the incident to the SADC observer team that arrived Wednesday, Chamisa said the team is there just to observe and they do not have the mandate to stop the attacks.

During the last parliamentary election in 2005 it was alleged that the notorious Chipangano gang was being paid in cash to attack opposition supporters in the area. Our correspondent then exposed how Chipangano was working in collaboration with the local police.



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