13 February 2017
HARARE – As the much-anticipated 2018 national polls loom large, there is
a feeling of deja vu among pro-democracy, opposition and rights groups.
This is especially so given the increase of violence by Zanu PF supporters
who have historically benefitted from the lack of appetite by police to
bring them to book.
Where police have made arrests, they included victims of these roughnecks
who have perfected their art of meting their dastardly acts on opposition
and pro-democracy groups going about their peaceful business.
As the 2018 elections approach, there is really palpable fear among
well-meaning Zimbabweans – including those who rightly support political
parties of their choice – that Zanu PF will resort to violence.
The barbaric attacks on supporters of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe
(TZ) in Chitungwiza on Saturday served as a reminder to all and sundry
that Zanu PF does not believe in alternative views.
These Zanu PF hoodlums descended on TZ supporters and severely mauled
senior officials and passers-by in an orgy which left scores injured and
several needing hospitalisation.
As reported by our sister publication, the Daily News On Sunday,
yesterday, these Zanu PF yobs were incensed by a TZ clean-up exercise in
the dormitory town which they claimed was out of bounds for the
And during these senseless attacks, the irony was lost on them that their
own party had caused the rot and decay – including presiding over a
collapsed public infrastructure such as sewer and water reticulation –
which have turned Zimbabwe into a sorry state.
What is so disconcerting is that the incidents of violence are increasing
as we approach the elections but without any intervention by police.
Last month, gun-toting thugs, suspected to be Zanu PF hoodlums, left for
dead an opposition candidate and his agent in the Bikita West by-election.
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) candidate Madock Chivasa, and his
election agent Thomas Mudzamiri, were mauled by Zanu PF yobs as the two
men were making their way out of a local supermarket where they had gone
to buy some food.
The violence followed the savage attacks on supporters of Temba Mliswa in
Norton last year where he stood as an independent candidate.
In September last year, Zanu PF youths also ran amok in Guruve, embarking
on an orgy of political violence and bludgeoning four Zimbabwe People
First (ZPF) bigwigs – including a retired senior military official and
former diplomat – before forcing a local school to close.
In the meantime, there has not been any single arrest.