MDC supporter dies after attack

Itai Dzamara

A MOVEMENT for Democratic Change supporter died on Sunday in a midnight attack by suspected Zanu PF hoodlums who have launched a campaign to push out opposition supporters in Shamva, the Zimbabw

e Independent has heard.


The Assistant Officer in Charge for Crime at Shamva Police Station, who declined to provide his name, yesterday confirmed the death but referred this paper to Madziwa police station which is responsible for investigations. Efforts to get through to Madziwa police station were fruitless.


There were also violent attacks by suspected Zanu PF officials in Gweru Rural where a headman in the constituency is still missing after being abducted on Monday


The deceased in the Sunday attack, Alexander Chigiga, died after an assault by a group allegedly led by Milton Kangi whilst his injured wife and son were admitted to a hospital in Bindura.


Several MDC supporters’ homes were raided at night and a number of victims sustained serious injuries.


Ruben Manyika, one of the victims, who sustained serious head injuries, yesterday narrated his ordeal: “The Zanu PF supporters, led by Kangi are saying that they were given instructions by their leaders to drive MDC supporters out of Shamva. Night raids on homes of suspected opposition supporters have become common.”


The violence in Gweru Rural started after MDC MP Renson Gasela began to hold report-back meetings.


Headman Shadreck Sikombingo was still missing yesterday after he was abducted by a group of 27 suspected war veterans and Zanu PF youths in Lower Gweru on Monday.


According to the headman’s family members, Sikombingo had been warned by Zanu PF officials in Lower Gweru the previous week that he would be “dealt with”.


The abduction was reported to the police. A policeman at Gweru Police Station who refused to identify himself on Wednesday said that investigations were continuing but declined to give further details.


The headman’s abduction followed the police’s last-minute cancellation of Gasela’s report-back meeting in Sikombingo’s area.


Gasela this week said there had been overwhelming attendance at his meetings in the constituency to which Zanu PF has reacted by harassing MDC supporters.


An MDC councillor in Zvishavane, Simon Dick, and his sister-in-law escaped death by a whisker last week after a house in which they were sleeping caught fire following a petrol bomb attack by suspected Zanu PF supporters.


The house and property worth over $70 million were completely destroyed in the attack just after midnight. An unexploded petrol bomb was later discovered underneath Dick’s vehicle.


These incidents followed an attempt on former Gweru mayor, Patrick Kombayi’s life on December 27 when a hand grenade was thrown at his car, completely destroying it. Kombayi said the assailants were suspected Zanu PF supporters as well as intelligence operatives.


Zanu PF supporters have resumed illegal roadblocks as well as patrols in Gweru Rural constituency for the purpose of identifying opposition supporters who are then taken to torture bases.


MDC spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi said the reemergence of violence in the three incidents “demonstrates beyond doubt that despite claims by Zanu PF and the Mugabe regime that there is peace in Zimbabwe, lawlessness still prevails as the law-enforcing agents have become part of the instruments for lawlessness and violence.


“The MDC calls on the Sadc countries to remind Mugabe that suppressing opposition political parties is a gross violation of human rights principles and has no place in a democratic Africa,” he said.

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