Zanu activates terror machinery
Written by Vusimuzi Bhebhe
Sunday, 03 October 2010 05:31
HARARE -Zanu (PF) is reactivating its terror machinery spearheaded by war
veterans, traditional chiefs and state security agents, in a chilling
reminder to Zimbabweans that the forces of darkness that stalked the run-up
to the June 2008 presidential run-off are still intact and raring to roll
out once orders are given.
The revival of the Zanu (PF) violence structure is chronicled in a
21-page report published by the MDC-T last week which listed at least
50 incidents of violence and intimidation perpetrated by war veterans,
police officers, soldiers, Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)
operatives, chiefs and youth militias during the past three months.
According to the report Zanu (PF) has reactivated militia training camps in
some parts of the country. Zanu (PF) youths are known for using such traning
camps as torture basis where perceived opponents of President Robert Mugabe
and his party are assaulted, raped, tortured or even murdered.
"Zanu PF has established youth militia training camps at five schools in
Maramba Pfungwe in Mashonaland East province, disrupting normal learning at
the schools ahead of the Constitution-making process," the report said.
"The bases are at Museka primary school in Ward 3, Potsikayi primary
school, Ward 2, Dindi primary school, Ward 4 Chipokoteke primary school,
Ward 4 and
Mungari primary school, Ward 4," it added.
Zanu (PF) spokesman Rugare Gumbo could not be reached for comment on the MDC
But he former sole ruling party has in the past denied its supporters and
allies in the military and war veterans commit violence and human rights
abuses against its opponents.
The MDC report said that war veterans were again taking a leading role in
campaign, with their 39-year-old leader Jabulani Sibanda said to be
targeting villagers in Masvingo province which Zanu (PF) lost to the
MDC-T during parliamentary elections held in March 2008.
(Xhead) Burning houses
Sibanda -- whose date of birth is listed on the list of persons subject to
Western targeted sanctions against senior Zanu (PF) officials as 31 December
1970 which would make him too young to have fought in the liberation war --
is accused of engaging in at least five terror cases since the end of June.
In one of the incidents, the war veterans leader incited Zanu (PF)
supporters to burn down the house of MDC-T Bikita West youth chairperson
David Hollman in August.
No arrests have been made for the arson attack on Hollman's house.
Sibanda allegedly warned MDC-T supporters during a rally in the area
that war veterans would repeat what they did in June 2008 when more
than 200 former opposition members were murdered and thousands others
The former liberation fighters unleashed an orgy of violence after Mugabe
lost the first round of the presidential elections in March to MDC-T leader
Tsvangirai -who is now Prime Minister in a coalition government formed
last year - was forced to withdraw from the run-off poll on 27 June
2008, leaving Mugabe to run alone.
Chief Chitanga of Mwenezi in Masvingo province has also allegedly
destroyed a 400-hectare winter maize crop at Makume Ranch, accusing
the owners of being staunch MDC-T supporters.
The crop was destroyed after Chief Chitanga, who is also a Senator,
drove cattle into the fields claiming that the 49 owners of the maize
crop were Tsvangirai's supporters.
"The chief's actions have left the local community in shock as the
maize crop, which was reaching maturity stage was boosting the
country's food security. The chief was assisted by his aides and
police special constabularies in destroying the maize crop," the MDC
(Xhead) AK47 rifle
Soldiers have also taken a lead in the harassment of perceived Mugabe
opponents, often threatening villagers with death for not supporting
The MDC-T cited an incident in which two serving members of the
Zimbabwe National Army - a Colonel Hungwe and Major Neshuro of Ngundu
Halt - threatened villagers in Chingamhi Ward 5 in Mwenezi with death
if they did not support the Kariba draft during the just-ended
Hungwe was allegedly armed with an AK47 rifle when he addressed the
meeting, which was also attended by Justice Sithole, the Zanu (PF)
chairperson of Mwenezi District Coordinating Committee.
Similar cases of violence are cited in another report on the
constitution outreach programme jointly published last week by the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Zimbabwe Peace Project and Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights.
The three organisations, operating under the banner of the Independent
Constitution Monitoring Project (ZZZICOMP), said a total of 307
outreach violations were recorded in Harare alone between June and
These included 78 cases of coaching, 77 of political interference, 72
of harassment and eight of violence.
"While constitution outreach consultations in Bulawayo went ahead as
planned under relatively peaceful and inclusive circumstances though
with a few isolated chaotic incidents, those in Harare had to be
abandoned midstream as deep-seated inter-party violence reared its
disgusting face," ZZZICOMP said.
Although constitutional outreach consultations in Harare were
scheduled for three days running from 18 September to 20 September
with 84 meetings lined up, ZZZICOMP noted that experiences from day
one "cast a caricature, a farce and indeed, a trivialization of the
essence of constitution making processes".
"It was in essence, a telling case of unbridled inter-party
intolerance and a chilling reminder to the nation-that the forces of
darkness that stalked the run up to the 2008 June run off are still
intact and raring to roll out at the slightest provocation," the group
One MDC-T activist died from injuries sustained during the Harare
(Xhead) CIO spies
Zanu (PF) has been accused of deploying CIO spies to speak on behalf
of ordinary participants in rural Zimbabwe during the outreach
Mugabe's party is pushing for the adoption of a draft constitution
agreed by negotiators from the three main political parties in the
resort town of Kariba in September 2007.
Zanu (PF) and the two MDC formations secretly authored the Kariba
draft in 2007 but critics say the document should be discarded because
it leaves untouched the immense presidential powers that analysts say
Mugabe has used to stifle opposition to his rule for the past three
The coalition government is expected to call fresh elections after
enactment of a new constitution although the administration can choose
to wait until expiry of its term in 2013 to call elections.
Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will strengthen the role of
Parliament and curtail the president's powers, as well as guarantee
basic civil, political and media freedoms.