‘They’ve launched a terror campaign’

Source: ‘They’ve launched a terror campaign’ – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba      27 April 2017

HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC says Zanu PF has
launched a terror campaign in the volatile Mashonaland East province,
threatening villagers against attending meetings and sharing their horror
experiences of the violent 2008 polls.

This comes just weeks after Tsvangirai visited the province, where he was
canvassing support for the planned grand opposition alliance which will
battle President Robert Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF in next year’s
eagerly-anticipated national elections.

MDC legislator for Zengeza West Simon Chidhakwa told the Daily News
yesterday that the ruling party had “resuscitated” its terror machinery
because the brawling ruling party was fearful of receiving “a hiding” in
the make-or-break 2018 polls.

He said they had gathered first-hand information from terrified villagers
who were being intimidated by Zanu PF supporters after they attended
meetings with opposition Members of Parliament.

“I myself recently went to Uzumba centre doing ward profiling. I started
in ward 15 where I addressed our members.

“Zanu PF supporters came and started throwing stones. The amount of
intimidation is so much that people who are still reeling from the 2008
violence now worry that life could get worse ahead of 2018.

“I even came across people who have lost their limbs and homes and people
are saying if we show our support to the MDC, we will be beaten or killed.

“An old lady also appealed to us that we should never come back to her
homestead, genuinely fearing that her home would be destroyed by Zanu PF

“One of the people who had been roughed up, whom we met, also said  there
was no recourse anywhere for victims of political violence and
intimidation,” Chidhakwa told the Daily News.

Tsvangirai toured the volatile province in February, where he was told by
traditional chiefs who opened up to him how they were already being roped
in by Zanu PF to become part of the ruling party’s rigging apparatus, to
ensure victory for the former liberation movement in 2018.

Traditional chief after traditional chief told Tsvangirai during the tour
of the restive province’s continuing “horror tendencies”.

They said that they were being forced to not only join the ruling party,
but to also lead its cells and wards – and to actively work to help rig
next year’s polls.

In 2008, Mashonaland East witnessed horrific violence which left more than
200 MDC supporters dead when Zanu PF went on a retribution exercise to
punish supporters suspected to have taken part in a rebellion which came
to be known as Bhora Musango – which saw Tsvangirai and the MDC beating
Mugabe and Zanu PF hands down in that year’s historic, albeit
hotly-disputed polls.

However, the results of the elections were withheld for six long weeks by
stunned authorities, amid widespread allegations of ballot tampering and
fraud which were later revealed by former Zanu PF bigwigs who are now in
opposition ranks.

In the ensuing sham presidential run-off, which authorities claimed was
needed to determine the winner, Zanu PF apparatchiks engaged in a
murderous orgy of violence in which hundreds of Tsvangirai’s supporters
were killed in cold blood, forcing the former prime minister in the
inclusive government to withdraw from the discredited race altogether.

Mugabe went on to stand in a widely-condemned one-man race in which he
declared himself the winner.

However, Sadc and the rest of the international community would have none
of it, forcing the nonagenarian to share power with Tsvangirai for five
years, to prevent the country from imploding completely.

The MDC said yesterday that Zanu PF activists were making it “extremely
hard” for the opposition to reach out to communities such as Uzumba, while
allegedly acting with “complete impunity”.

“Because of the culture of impunity, perpetrators of gross human rights
abuses such as murder, rape and arson still remain free out there because
they are being protected by the Zanu PF regime.

“This has resulted in a culture of fear gripping most rural communities in

“It is an extremely big risk for villagers to attend opposition political
party meetings or rallies in the rural areas because they will be
victimised by Zanu PF thugs and misguided elements amongst traditional

“This is one of the major reasons why the MDC is strenuously pushing for
the adoption of electoral reforms before next year’s plebiscite.

“The Zanu PF regime is harvesting from the culture of fear that has taken
root amongst rural communities,” MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu, told the
Daily News.


  • comment-avatar
    Chatham House 5 years ago

    The best indication for future behaviour – is past behaviour. Gukuruhundi?

    • comment-avatar
      Ndonga 5 years ago

      Exactly Chatham House,

      Why should it be any different this time round?

      And The Opposition that we are all pining our hopes and lives on are dithering and bickering.

      For the love of God, and the future welfare and happiness of Zimbabwe, please allow The Opposition to get their heads, hearts and acts together…

  • comment-avatar
    Dmitriy 5 years ago