via ZANU PF confusing ‘sanctions with restrictive measures’ | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda on Thursday, October 17, 2013
An MDC-T MP has said that ZANU PF must delete the word ‘sanctions’ from its vocabulary and should also stop blaming them for their failures in governance.
Settlement Chikwinya, the Mbizo MP in KweKwe, said a motion on sanctions that was debated in parliament, and almost ended in blows, was the result of ZANU PF legislators choosing to be ignorant over the issue.
Chikwinya said there is a big difference between sanctions and restrictive measures and this is what he was trying to explain in Parliament when he was accosted by Joseph Chinotimba, the ZANU PF MP for Buhera South.
A motion had been moved by ZANU PF’s Mberengwa East MP Makhosini Hlongwane, calling for the House of Assembly to write to Western countries to remove sanctions.
‘The debate centered on why our economy is not performing, why our industry has been de-industrialized and why our people are living a poor quality life.
‘ZANU PF is blaming the same on sanctions…we are blaming the same on corruption. We believe the economy is down because of the corrupt tendencies of the executive arm of government led by ZANU PF officials, which is making investors fail to come and invest in Zimbabwe,’ Chikwinya said.
In the debate that caused a furore on Wednesday, Chikwinya explained that he was trying to demonstrate that Zimbabwe is not under sanctions, as it is free to trade with any country it wishes to trade with, worldwide.
He said the EU and the USA have contributed enormously to the economy of Zimbabwe in the last decade, under the same restrictive measures, unlike China, which is exploiting mineral reserves and bringing its own labour force to the country.
‘In some of its mining ventures, the Chinese have brought their own people to push wheelbarrows and yet the so called enemies of Zimbabwe, like the UK and US, employ thousands of Zimbabweans through companies such as BP, Anglo American, Stanchart and Barclays,’ Chikwinya said.
‘I emphasized that there are targeted restrictive measures invoked on certain individuals for their part in sponsoring violence, for their part in disregarding human rights, for their part in failing to abide by democratic tendencies of governance, transparency and accountability as well as failing to respect the constitution and the rule of law,’
Chikwinya said it was at this point that he mentioned Chinotimba, as an example of being one of those under restrictive measures for his part in the murder of an MDC-T political activist in his constituency.
‘We have one Gibson Muzondo who was killed in Buhera, allegedly by Chinotimba. This is an allegation that was not generated by me but an allegation that is recorded by the police and is on records. So it is in Chinotimba’s interest to deny the allegations in Parliament rather than intimidate me.
‘The problem with our friends from ZANU PF is that once you tell them the truth, they default to their natural DNA, a DNA of violence and a DNA of intimidation. This is why restrictive measures are imposed on them for their violent tendencies,’ said the MP.
In 2011 SW Radio Africa wrote an article about Chinotimba’s trail of violence, rape and murder. The new MP, a former security guard with the Harare City Council, rose to infamy in 2000 when he declared himself ‘commander in chief’ of farm invasions’.
From guarding beer halls and other municipal facilities he suddenly became the ‘poster boy’ for the violent land invasions and appeared several times on state television leading violent mobs of war vets and ZANU PF militants onto farms.
When ZANU PF selected Chinotimba to be their parliamentary candidate for the Buhera South seat in the March 2008 harmonized election, an even more violent side to his character was to emerge.
Although MDC-T candidate Naison Nemadziva eventually won the seat, it was not before Chinotimba had unleashed a range of terror tactics, that included mob violence, group rape and even murder.
According to eyewitness testimonies, on the 5th May 2008 Chinotimba, in the company of his cousin, raped an MDC-T member in Buhera. He threatened Idah Munyukwi with a gun before raping her twice.
Chinotimba also encouraged his violent mob to use rape as a tool. Under his instruction a group of about 21 ZANU PF thugs gang raped Memory Mufambi, an MDC-T supporter in Ward 18 of Buhera.
Girl Child Network founder Betty Makoni dealt with the case, having provided shelter for Mufambi in Botswana. She described in detail how Chinotimba’s mob raped the woman. She said they went to her home looking for her husband who was a prominent MDC-T activist. When they could not find him they started beating up his wife (Mufambi) until she collapsed.
Makoni said the mob of ZANU PF youth militia and war vets then took Mufambi to their torture base where, after initially putting a gun to her head, they took turns to rape her over the course of a week. Mufambi says she lost count of how many men raped her but it was so violent she suffered severe internal injuries. She was only released after one of the men involved became ashamed at the extreme violence and pleaded for her to be released.
Meanwhile in the Ward 27 area of Chapanduka, and also in 2008, Chinotimba led a group of ZANU PF thugs who beat to death an MDC-T activist known as Sibamba. In another incident on the 18th May 2008, Chinotimba’s truck was used in the attack on Choukuse Nyoka Mubango in Ward 26. Mubango was axed to death in full view of his wife and five children.
In June 2008, undercover BBC reporter Ian Pannell described a face-to-face encounter with Chinotimba, saying: “His car blocked ours. He got out with three other men, striding towards us, wearing a T-shirt with two Kalashnikovs and Robert Mugabe’s face printed on it. His eyes were unflinching, a large, brooding man, full of hatred, smelling of alcohol and full of threats.”
Chinotimba is said to have leaned into the car, demanding to know what the journalists were doing in the area. “It was only fast and fluid talking by two South African colleagues we were travelling with that persuaded him to leave us alone. I will never quite believe that he really bought what felt like a terribly flimsy cover story about travelling to see friends, but he did eventually let us pass,” Pannel wrote.
Chinotimba, with the help of his violent mob, took control of the area, behaving like a mafia boss. They rampaged through Buhera, targeting numerous rural peasants like Admore Chibutu, Petros Murinda, Tongeyi Jeremiah, and Mangwanani Zvichapera. They burned down their homes, beat them up, killed and stole their livestock.