Political violence victims recount horror attacks


CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) suporters have narrated harrowing details on how they escaped death after they were attacked by suspected Zanu PF members in post-election violence cases.

The CCC says it has recorded at least 50 cases of post-election violence targeting its supporters, particularly in rural areas since the disputed August election.

The opposition party made inroads in Zanu PF strongholds and in the process denied the ruling party a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Zanu PF supporters have allegedly embarked on a witch hunt targeting suspected opposition supporters in different parts of the country.

CCC official Vongai Tome said some of the victims, 110 of them in total including children, have been moved to safe houses in Harare.

She said the displaced people are from Muzarabani, Mt Darwin, Maramba Pfungwe, Mudzi, Goromonzi, Manicaland province, and Masvingo.

“Over 50 cases were recorded, and the recorded incidents ranged from threats to beatings, torture, and arson,” Tome said.

“As a mother, I feel so disturbed by what is happening to our supporters, and we call upon the police to arrest all the perpetrators of this violence.

“These developments violate both national and international law, including our own constitution and the African Charter on Human Rights, of which Zimbabwe is part of.”

The violence victims include Buhera South candidate Solomon Hodhera, who was allegedly attacked together with party polling agent, Rangarirai Sithole.

Hodhera said the perpetrators were yet to be arrested since the incident happened on August 24.

“At around 3pm on August 24, I was at Muzokomba (in Ward 25) with my team resting,”Hodhera said.

“That’s when we saw Zanu PF vehicles loaded with about 35 supporters coming from Mutiusinazita.

“We thought they were just in the field, like what we were doing.

“They started attacking Sithole, punctured the tyres of my car beyond repair, and came after me.

“One of those who attacked me was holding a pistol and an okapi knife.”

Hodhera said the suspects were still walking free.

“We don’t know why they can’t be arrested,” Hodhera said.

“In that incident, the perpetrators took about US$13,700, which I was supposed to give to my agents as an incentive.”

Another victim, Leonard Nzira, who was CCC’s candidate for ward 16 in Gokwe, said his three children, both minors, cheated death by a whisker after their house was set on fire.

“My house was burned at around 4am on Friday, in what I suspect to be politically motivated arson,” Nzira said.

“I caught the suspect, and he was put on remand by the police.

“It’s a political issue that I have enough evidence on.”

Other victims mentioned are Womberaishe Nhende, Sanele Mkhuhlani, and Nelson Mukwena.

Efforts to get a comment from Zanu PF and the police on the matter were futile.

Zanu PF has, however, dismissed reports that its members have launched retributive attacks against CCC members, especially in rural areas.

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum acting director Wilbert Mandinde expressed concern over the post-election violence incidents.

“We have received cases of abductions, arson, and people being assaulted,” Mandinde said.

“We hope that the police will not take a partisan approach in investigating and dealing with these cases.” — Standard

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