The provincial headquarters of war veterans located in Entumbane suburb, Bulawayo, was ‘petrol-bombed’ yesterday morning in an attack that is suspected to have been carried out by individuals linked to the MDC-Alliance.
The resultant fire caused extensive damage to property and records.
However, no one was injured in the attack.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.
“We can confirm that there was an attack on the war veterans’ provincial headquarters in Bulawayo early this morning (yesterday). What happened is that the caretaker suddenly saw that the whole office was on fire and he alerted the treasurer of the association through the phone.
“A report was made to the police and the Fire Brigade attended the scene, and it was established that the attack emanated from a window that was broken and somebody threw a petrol bomb inside, which damaged records and property belonging to the association,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He called on members of the public who might have information on possible suspects to come forward.
The caretaker, Mr Ntokozo Ncube, told our Bulawayo Bureau that he did not see the person who threw the bomb.
“I was doing rounds at the offices at about 2am when I noticed a fire coming from the back office and I alerted Mr Lucas Ngwenya, who lives in a nearby house, to assist me in putting out the fire . . . We opened the office from the front and found documents that were on the office desk and curtains already burning, and we used water to extinguish the fire,” he said.
Some of the items destroyed included curtains, office furniture, windows and clothes that were stored in the office.
Bulawayo war veterans chairperson Cde Cephas Ncube said they would issue a statement about the bombing.
“We will comment in due course as war veterans. We are letting the police do their work,” said Cde Ncube.
Sources in the security establishment said the attack could be a pre-emptive strategy by the MDC- A and its surrogate NGOs, who have since notified police about their intention to hold demonstrations this week.
It is alleged that the MDC-A and its affiliate organisations recently held a meeting in Kariba to strategise on the planned mayhem.
“From the meeting, the strategy was to target Zanu-PF buildings, war veterans’ installations and offices of prominent Zanu-PF officials and businesspeople. Each member who was recruited to do the attacks was promised US$800. The Entumbane attack might be the beginning of putting into motion their tactics,” said the source.
Separately, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema said Government was aware of the unfolding plot to stage violent demonstrations around the country.
He added that there were foreigners masquerading as tourists who are working closely with the MDC to roll out the demonstrations.
“Let me remind foreigners who are clearly dabbling in local politics that Zimbabwe is a sovereign State and will not allow people disguised as tourists to come and promote anarchy and destruction of property in the country,” he warned.