via MDC-T supporters in Mash Central ‘living in fear’ | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell September 12, 2013
Supporters and members of the MDC-T in Mashonaland Central are said to be living in fear, because of a targeted campaign of arrests since the elections on July 31st.
Most recently, the MDC-T’s Shamva South election candidate Leman Pwanyiwa, was arrested on Tuesday and held in detention for two days, on assault allegations. He was granted bail by a magistrate on Thursday and will appear in court again at the end of the month.
Pwanyiwa and his campaign team were the target of politically motivated attacks in the run-up to the elections, and four days before the polls opened the group was assaulted by ZANU PF activists. The case was reported to the police, but Pwanyiwa was told that the police did not intervene in ‘political matters’.
A spate of arrests has also been seen elsewhere in Mash Central, including in Bindura. A Bindura party activist, speaking on condition of anonymity, told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that “people are living in fear because there are so many arrests.”
“Soon after the elections they started arresting MDC people, starting with Lovemore Langton, on allegations that he destroyed a ZANU PF poster. He was arrested and detained for two days, before being found guilty in a special court and fined,” the Bindura activist said.
He described that since that arrest there have been many others, and all the victims have been MDC-T members or supporters.
“I was also a victim. I was charged with insulting a ZANU PF councillor in Ward 8 and I was fined $150 or 30 days in prison,” he explained.
He said that “Special Courts”, set up to deal with election violence, are now being used to determine the fate of all the arrested MDC-T officials.
“These courts that have been set up have just been set up to persecute MDC members. This system is so biased towards ZANU PF and they are still arresting people,” the Bindura activist said.
The run up to the polls saw other Mash Central MDC-T members being targeted with pre-election harassment. Also in Shamva South, the then aspiring MDC-T councillor Shadreck Sibanda had his house and granary burnt to ashes by suspected ZANU PF supporters on July 8th, for being in possession of his party’s regalia. Sibanda was later ordered to vacate the area or face more violence