Zimbabwe violence increases ahead of elections

POLITICAL intimidation and terror has resurfaced in Manicaland, where Zanu PF members and soldiers are allegedly beating up and terrorising MDC-T supporters, the Movement for Democratic Change has said.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said they had received reports that villagers in Mutambara, Chimanimani and Chipinge were living in terror because of beating by MDC which were politically motivated which have became rampant soon after they contributed immensely during the constitution-making meetings.

“They (Zanu PF) can eliminate some but not the party. They have been using the same tactics of violence. Our organization is people centred and grassroots headquartered that is why this party is unbreakable,” he said

We do not have blood in our hands, ours is a struggle and desire to see a country better governed,” Chamisa said.

Suspected Zanu PF activists besieged and reportedly attacked mourners at the funeral wake of an MDC-T activist in Mutambara on Thursday last week and stole goat’s, chickens and some farm equipments before threatening to destroy the deceased’s Elvis Chikavanga ‘s house and neighbours whose children said to be in England are said to be funding MDC activities from England.

When the Zimbabwean visited the place an elderly woman identified at Sarah Muyambo said they had made reports to the police but nothing had been done.

“Nothing has been done despite us giving them four names of the violent group that disturbed funeral and stole our properties,” Muyambo said.

“It is the fourth time (they have attacked our house) this has happened since 2008, they accuse our daughter Gladys (Chmphonda) who was a member of the MDC before she left for the England as funding anti-Zanu PF. We are afraid she they could hurt or kill her when she does return home,” Muyambo said.

Asked on Facebook about events happening in Zimbabwe and when she will return from England, Gladys Chimphonda confirmed that she had heard about the violence and allegation of funding MDC activities but said: “I am not sure when I will return to Zimbabwe in light of all this. We are praying that this violence will end and cannot wait to see a better Zimbabwe for everyone”.

Asked about funding MDC activities in Manicaland, Gladys said” “A lot has been said about me and if I start to comment of everything that is said I will lose focus in live,” she said.

She alleges that John Simango, Prosper Dandato, Frank Ngorima and Mike Siwela lead the group of about 12 people who besieged their funeral and stole their property.

Contacted for comment, police in Mutambara said they had received the reports of the violence, stolen farm equipments and goats and chickens but no arrests have been made as they say they are still investigating the incident.

Analysts said they were worried about the rate at which political violence was increasing country ahead of the presidential election early next year.

Last week Chipinge East MP Matewu Mathias Mlambo said 15 MDC-T supporters in his constituency were rounded up and beaten up by soldiers, forcing one of the villagers, Misheck Mazanga, to flee his home and hide in the bush.

“This group of about 30 soldiers has been camped at Green Valley for more than six months now, and have been accusing MDC-T supporters of spurious crimes,” said Mlambo. “Two weeks ago, the soldiers made 15 people at Ward 18, Musirizvi resettlement area, to lie down on their stomachs before beating them up.”

Mlambo said, Zanu PF activists in the company of these soldiers pounced on villagers at Ward 17, looking for one Misheck Mazanga, an MDC-T deputy organising secretary for that ward.

Fortunately, Mazanga had already fled his home and gone into hiding.

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