MORE than 20 families are now homeless, businesses are still counting losses and schools have been shut down after CCC activists went on a rampage in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza on Tuesday night.
Tuckshops and vehicles were also destroyed after CCC supporters ran amok, indiscriminately attacking residents of Nyatsime, an offshoot suburb of Chitungwiza.
According to the police, the trail of destruction by the opposition activists left 20 houses destroyed, 13 shops and six tuck-shops windowless and ransacked at Chibhanguza Shopping Centre.
The marauding mob also torched a gazebo at the shopping centre where four cars were not spared the wrath of the activists who had been incited by Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala to avenge the death of Moreblessing Ali, a victim of gender-based violence.
In a statement yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the police are still on the ground looking for other suspects implicated in the disturbances.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has intensified investigations into the Nyatsime public violence incident which occurred on June 14, 2022. Besides the arrest of Job Sikhala last (Tuesday) night, the police have arrested (Chitungwiza North MP) Godfrey Sithole for inciting public violence”, he said.
Both legislators were yesterday still in custody and assisting with investigations. The two are expected to appear in court once investigations have been completed.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police reiterates that comprehensive inquiries are underway to account for suspects whose vehicle registration number plates were captured whilst they were openly dropping some political activists to engage in violence.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms that a two-roomed house was burnt in Nyatsime, while 20 others were destroyed by violent activists with 13 shops and six tuckshops’ windows smashed, shattered, and destroyed at Chibhanguza Shopping Centre,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“A gazebo at the shopping centre was also set ablaze while a pre-school was destroyed. Seven complainants have made reports to the police on assault and damages to their property during the orgy of public violence in Nyatsime. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has established that four vehicles which were parked at Chibhanguza garage were destroyed.”
He said they had deployed adequate police officers to continue monitoring the situation and ensure law and order prevails in Nyatsime.
“The police advises owners of vehicles with registration number plates listed below to urgently report to the Zimbabwe Republic Police CID Law and Order section in Harare for interviews: AFD 3636, AEN 7607, ADZ 1128, AFE 9836, and AEJ 0651,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
The Herald yesterday visited the area and observed a trail of destruction at homes, business centres, and schools left by the CCC activists and supporters.
At Chibhanguza shopping Centre, houses around the area had all windows smashed and doors destroyed.
As of yesterday, people were still counting losses with some using sacks and metal sheets to cover up the broken windows.
A garage at Chibhanguza had several vehicles smashed, including a Toyota Hiace commuter omnibus, Mark II and a Ford Bantam that was being repaired. The vehicles had their windows, back and side screens smashed.
An affected resident, Mr Hilton Makaikai, said the CCC activists used knives, wooden sticks and axes to destroy properties.
“The first group stole a hoe that was here. We thought the disturbances were over and stayed indoors fearing attacks.
“There was another group that came and it started smashing windows. I had a visitor who had come who was injured on his leg. We are still unsettled, this is scary,” he said.
A woman who only identified herself as Mrs Chirau said life was slowly getting back to normal.
“We were only advised to shut our shops as we headed towards the Gokwe (Nyatsime) area. Upon arrival, we were advised to return to Chibhanguza.
“They were carrying dangerous weapons and we had to seek shelter in our homes. We later heard noises as they destroyed property,” she said.
CCC activists embarked on their orgy of violence after Sikhala, who is CCC vice-chairperson, openly instigated the party supporters to take the war to Zanu PF in the wake of the unfortunate murder of Ali, in a case that police are currently investigating and which witnesses and friends have said was a case of gender-based violence.
The violence that erupted in Nyatsime also comes as the opposition, civic society and some Western embassies have been trying to score cheap political points through baseless claims that a Zanu PF activist is behind the murder of Ali.