by Irene Madongo
25 January 2011
Two hundred MDC-T members were forced to seek refuge at their party’s Harare headquarters, after ZANU-PF youths hunted them down in Mbare over the weekend.
The MDC-T also reported that the ZANU PF youths besieged their Mbare office, where they allegedly assaulted staff, stole computers and vandalised furniture. Despite this, it’s understood the police did not make any arrests.
On Tuesday a civic organisation condemned the violence, and said that more outbreaks of politically motivated violence in urban areas were on the way, because the coalition government had failed to address the underlying issue of police bias.
Ronald Mureverwi, spokesman of the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe, said: “The coalition government has failed to effect reforms like making sure that the police are independent and making sure that the judiciary is independent.”
“Police are partisan. They are reluctant to act when ZANU PF people are caught on the wrong side as aggressors. You will be shocked that no-one has been brought to book on such instances,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s coalition government is made up of ZANU PF and the two MDC factions. The police force is under the Home Affairs department, a ministry jointly headed by the ZANU PF’s Kembo Mohadi and the MDC-T’s Theresa Makone. But Makone has been unable to stop the attacks on her party’s members, despite saying she’d look into it.
Commenting on the latest violence the MDC said in a statement: “The MDC is extremely concerned by the lack of action by the police, as well as the continued victimisation of the victims when they approach the police stations to report the various forms of assault. What is even more worrying is the fact that in the eyes of the police, any MDC supporter, even if they are victims, qualifies to be a candidate for arrest. It is clear that the repeat of June 2008 in an amplified version is inevitable.