Burnings and beatings as violence rages
Despite pleas to end violence from organisations worldwide, regional bodies like the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Zimbabwean main political parties, hundreds of people are still fleeing their rural homes to seek refuge in the towns.
According to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the Zanu (PF)-sponsored militia, the army, the police and war veterans have assumed new tactics, in which they now abduct key opposition activists and kill them in the dead of night.
Runyararo Mugauyi (27) confined to bed with appalling wounds on his buttocks after being beaten up by Zanu (PF) thugs in Mashonaland Central, told MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, as he visited the hospital: I need someone to carry me back home so I can vote the old man out.
After his visit, Tsvangirai told a media conference that he had been inspired by the heroic suffering of the victims – among them Tonderai Ndira, a prominent activist who was abducted from his Harare home by 10 armed men. His body was found by accident when opposition activists, who had gone to the Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare to collect corpses of two other murdered party members, recognized him in the mortuary.
Professor John Makumbe, an independent political analyst, said it was misleading for people to think that a call by Mugabe to end violence was genuine.
He said: As our politicians squabble, debate, impose conditions and argue, as international statesmen fudge and mumble their vague support for our suffering, it is easy to forget that down the dust roads and rural tracks of this country, a daily horror is taking place.
The MDC says more than 45 of its members have been murdered since the March 29 elections and nobody has been arrested for the crimes. More than 25,000 people have been displaced countrywide, and 8,000 homesteads, mostly belonging to opposition supporters, have been torched by suspected Zanu (PF) youths and war veterans.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said, after former Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa challenged them to produce evidence of their claims over violence, they had given names of 38 murder victims to the police to investigate, but there had been no feedback.
We told them that they should investigate the cases. People are dying like flies and we now have churches and our head office to cater for those people who are all afraid to return to their homes, Chamisa said.
At the launch of his campaign for a sixth term last Friday, Mugabe condoned violence.
I say no to violence, but that is not to say if you are attacked remain stationery. You should also attack back, he said.
Jabulani Sibanda, War Veterans Association Chairman, was on the defensive.
War veterans are not a violent people and it is very clear that our responsibility as an association is to educate the masses so that they will not be gullible to the opposition’s propaganda and hunger caused by sanctions and their violent activities, he said. – CAJ News
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Evidence of violence
Yet more of the ugly evidence of violence that has become an everyday horror for Zimbabweans. These victims were burnt or beaten in attacks by armed thugs.