ZANU PF is reactivating its terror networks across the country ahead of general elections in which its leader President Robert Mugabe is seeking victory to end the wobbly inclusive government, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.
Report by Elias Mambo
Sources in the party claim Zanu PF has deployed militia groups coordinated by sitting Members of Parliament and other officials in order to thwart the MDC formations attempts to woo rural voters.
“Zanu PF has redeployed youth militia groups countrywide which includes Chipangano in Harare, Top Six in Chinhoyi, Jochomondo in Hurungwe, Jambanja in Maramba-Pfungwe and the recently established Al shabab in Kwekwe,” Zanu PF sources said.
“The groups are co-ordinated by Zanu PF legislators anxious to block the two MDC formations from reaching out to the masses by intimidating them or instilling fear in the electorate to shun the MDCs.”
According to a source who runs a flea market in Mbare, Chipangano has restarted its intimidation tactics by going around the community singing revolutionary songs and issuing threats. “The group goes around the community singing, dancing and blocking traffic. The police do not even stop them because they are from Zanu PF. They have not yet attacked anyone but their behaviour reminds us of 2008,” said the source.
About 200 MDC supporters were reportedly killed in the June 2008 presidential poll run-off when the country’s security sector embarked on a vicious campaign to save the career of Mugabe who had lost in the first round of polling to MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.
However, Harare Zanu PF provincial youth chairperson and alleged Chipangano leader, Jim Kunaka, refuted the allegations saying youths in Mbare are on a peaceful mobilisation crusade.
“There is nothing wrong in singing and mobilising support for our revolutionary party,” Kunaka said. “President Mugabe is on record saying that the forthcoming elections should be peaceful so as a leader I have managed to pass that message to our followers to shun violence and peacefully galvanise support for our party,” he said.
In Mashonaland Central last week, traffic came to a standstill between Guruve and Mudhindo business centre when the militia set up roadblocks to search vehicles after reports that MDC-T pamphlets were being distributed in the area. In Midlands province, particularly in Kwekwe, Al shabab has been evicting shop owners in Mbizo from their business premises and taking over under the guise of youth empowerment.
MDC-T Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya confirmed that Al shabab is terrorising people in his constituency.
“I am aware of an incident where Sekai Mangwiro was evicted from her hardware shop in Mbizo 1,” said Chikwinya. “The matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of four members of Alshabab.
However, these culprits were released without any charges.”
In many rural areas, teachers have expressed fear of a resurgence of the 2008 polls scenario when they became targets of violence by Zanu PF militia who accused them of supporting the MDC-T.
However, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said he was not disturbed by activities of the youths whom he said were rallying support for his party.
“I am not disturbed by those activities because they are peaceful attempts to mobilise support for our party,” Mutasa said. “Our youths have always been in line with the desires of their leadership and we have not received any complaints of intimidation.”