By Tererai Karimakwenda
31 August, 2011
A group of about 50 ZANU PF thugs were reported to have set up a temporary base just meters from the house of an MDC-T official in Mudzi West constituency last Friday. They then stoned and destroyed the house in the early hours of the morning. Fortunately the officials wife and children had already left, after sensing danger.
A statement by the MDC-T said Goodwell Mazarura, the MDC-T Information and Publicity Secretary for Mudzi West, was “visibly shaken” as he described how the thugs sang revolutionary songs and chanted party slogans while stoning the house.
Officials from the MDC-T in Manicaland have continued to face a violent campaign by ZANU PF sponsored thugs, who are burning and destroying houses, assaulting or illegally evicting families, with the support of soldiers and the police.
Mazarura has remained active in the MDC despite being a target for years now. His house was burnt down back in 2006 by three ZANU PF thugs who were later prosecuted. The latest attack is believed to be retribution for this.
Julius Magaramombe, the MDC-T provincial Chairman, explained that Manicaland is a target because many senior officials within ZANU PF lost their parliamentary seats to MDC candidates in the province, during the 2008 elections.
Magaramombe told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the list includes ZANU PF chefs Patrick Chinamasa, Joseph Made and Oppah Muchinguri, all of whom are desperately hoping to get their positions back, using fear tactics.
“Asi vanhu vave kuziya hapana zviripo”, Magaramombe said, meaning “people now know there is nothing left” that ZANU PF can offer. The party has resorted to using violence and intimidation to get support and they are not getting results.
According to the MDC-T official, the voters know if they do not go to ZANU PF rallies and pretend to be members they will be victimized, but there is no real support for ZANU PF.
As for the role of the police and soldiers, Magaramombe said they protect the thugs from prosecution and at times take part in violent acts because they too are being threatened by top officials and would be victimized if they refuse to obey orders.
This partisan role played by the military, police and intelligence divisions has emerged as the most critical issue blocking the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement and any hope of credible elections in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, there are reports that a torture base has been re-established at Chimango business centre, run by soldiers from the 22 Infantry Battalion. According to the MDC-T the soldiers have teamed up with ZANU PF thugs and are “unleashing violence against all perceived MDC supporters in the area”.
The MDC-T also reported that members of the violent ZANU PF sponsored Chipangano gang addressed a meeting in Mutoko East where the ZANU PF district chairperson, Ingidzai Kapondoro, encouraged party youths to beat up MDC supporters in the area.
The same group of violent youths, led by Ruddy Ndoro, disrupted a peaceful MDC-T meeting in ward 26 Murehwa West later that same day. A statement by the MDC-T said the district chairman suffered serious head injuries after the gang assaulted participants, but he was too scared to seek medical treatment at St Paul’s Mission Hospital nearby because ZANU PF youth informers are employed there.