Zanu-PF has launched a terror campaign in Manicaland with cases of violence being recorded in Nyanga with fearsome intimidation and threats for a repeat of the 2008 violent clampdown of opposition sympathisers in Buhera.
Zimbabwe Political Victims Foundation Trust chairperson Sekai Gombe said his organisation is assisting two assault victims — Paradzai Samachena and Virginia Takurira Tsoka from Nyanga to find legal recourse and medical attention.
Gombe said Samachena from Kanyani Village in Nyanga North was, on June 16, allegedly hit by a catapult on the eye by Shingirai Tembo, believed to be a Zanu-PF activist in ward 5 for wearing an MDC Alliance T-shirt.
The case was reported at Ruwangwe Police Station under RRB 2372874.
“He was attacked whilst in the garden and his only crime was to wear an MDC-Alliance T-shirt in defiance of a Zanu-PF edict against anything to do with the opposition in the village,” Gombe said.
He said arrangements are being made to have him taken to the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) in Harare to be attended to by a doctor.
Tsoka is a female MDC supporter from Vhurandi Village again in ward 5 who was allegedly attacked with a log by Tinotenda Mutsamwira, another suspected Zanu-PF activist on July 16 again for wearing an MDC T-shirt.
“She sustained a swollen right thigh and back injuries,” Gombe said.
This was reported to the local police on CRB number 722/18.
In Buhera, Mutepfe villagers — who had been given plastic plates by Ngonidzashe Mudekunye a former Zanu-PF member who filed papers at the Nomination Court as an independent after his CV disappeared, leaving Joseph Chinotimba to sail through the primaries uncontested, had the plates confiscated and burnt in their sight last week by suspected Zanu-PF activists.
Over 50 households were affected. There were threats of more severe punishment if they received more gifts from opposition political players.
Albert Mabika, an MDC official in Buhera South, said Zanu-PF youths are toyi-toying daily in ward 26, singing intimidating songs, threatening a return of the 2008 violence if the community voted for opposition candidates.
A number of local opposition activists were either killed or maimed in politically-motivated violence with the perpetrators still moving around scot-free.
The ruling party supporters are seeking to use fear to harvest votes for their candidates.
In Chimanimani, resettled communities like Duri, Merry Waters and Charles Wood estates are also constantly being threatened with expulsion from their A2 farms if they vote for opposition candidates, according to Innocent Dube an independent candidate for Chimanimani East.
Dube said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should deploy its officials to ensure that no party uses under-hand tactics to manipulate the electorate.
“This is worrisome and we feel that many of the farmers actually believe the threats. There is a yawning disconnect between what the Zanu-PF leadership is saying publicly and through the media and what their supporters are doing out here away from the public glare,” Dube said.
Zanu-PF Manicaland provincial chairperson Mike Madiro said although he has not heard any reports of violence, his party condemned it and urged people not to be intimidated.
“I’ve not heard of these cases but as a party we condemn violence from whoever. It’s not necessary. We have come of age and we are one people. We urge people not to be intimidated. Your vote is your secret,” Madiro said.
He, however, dismissed reported cases of intimidation in Buhera saying the opposition was likely being over sensitive to people who could be “celebrating their victory in advance or just running to keep fit as part of a football club’s training”.
“Can we be ordering people to stop doing activities to keep fit because we are going for elections?
“I don’t know why the opposition appears to be exaggerating things and sometimes even making false reports as if they are afraid of elections,” Madiro retorted.