New details emerge in Shurugwi arson case: Victims identified as political tensions rise in Zimbabwe


THE Shurugwi arson case in which 10 houses were burnt has taken a new twist, with police identifying the victims as ruling Zanu PF supporters.

This follows a statement by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a rally which directed law enforcement agents to hunt down suspected Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters behind the arson.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi had initially said the case was not linked to political violence.

On Wednesday, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, however, issued a follow-up statement saying the victims were Zanu PF supporters.

“May I point out that investigations are still in progress in connection with the 10 huts which were set on fire in Shurugwi, Midlands province on July 30, 2023,” he said.

“The huts were owned by some Zanu PF officials and supporters, Eva Chitata (42), Munyoro Getrude (63), Nkazana Mhlanga (46), Tobias Saul (51), Anna Mangena (62) and Lot Chivese (46). Two suspects have been arrested for the incident.

“The suspects Edson Madhuveko (28) and Edwin Madhuveko (21) have since appeared in court as police widen investigations.”

Matanga said the political environment was peaceful and warned political activists the law would be applied without fear or favour.

“The ZRP and other security arms of the government have intensified safety and security measures in the country to ensure that the public is free to conduct various social and economic activities in a serene environment,” he said.

“The country is certainly ready to host peaceful, free, fair and credible elections.”

Matanga said police had recorded minor cases of “political disputes, violence and malicious damages to property”.

Police have asked government to avail funds for the acquisition of equipment in anticipation of increased political violence ahead of the August 2023 polls.

— NewsDay

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