Close to 15 people were admitted to hospital with serious injuries while three are said to have been abducted and taken away in ZANU PF trucks. Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa witnessed some of the violence, telling us ZANU PF youths undressed a woman who was passing by, leaving her naked.
Unsuspecting members of the public were battered with heavy logs, metal bars and whips, for merely passing through the area. Apart from the vicious beatings, several residents said they were robbed of varying amounts of cash, stripped of their valuables, shoes and clothing, the MDC-T said in a statement.
The police and youths assaulted innocent civilians who were passing by the venue, especially those wearing red T-shirts, on allegations that they are MDC activists, the MDC-T added. There were fears for the welfare of one person hit over the head with a log, with eyewitnesses saying it was doubtful he would survive. When some of the MDC went to the police station to report the assaults, an Inspector Dembedza at Harare Central allegedly told them to leave and go back to face their assailants.
The rally had been banned after ZANU PF claims that they had also booked a venue 500 metres away from the planned MDC-T peace rally. Police said this could lead to violence. But no such ZANU PF function took place. The MDC-T sought an urgent High Court injunction for their rally to proceed but, this was turned down. Justice George Chiweshe, who presided over the electoral commission that cooked figures in favour of Mugabe in the 2008 presidential election, was the same judge who threw out the MDC-T court application.
Meanwhile several hundred kilometers away in Marondera, ZANU PF thugs closed down all the shops and beer halls in the Rujeko suburb, ordering people to attend the signing of the so-called anti-sanctions petition. Similar bullying was reported in Mutare over the weekend where Muchemwa said there was violence in the eastern town of Mutare as ZANU PF again forced people to attend their rally and sign the anti-sanctions petition. Loads of trucks were seen passing by the Christmas pass leading into town just before the violence erupted, he said.
In Bindura white commercial farmers were paraded in front of people at the anti-sanctions rally in the mining town. According to Muchemwa the farmers were forced to sign the anti-sanctions petition. The MDC-T also reports that Luckmore Chida, its District Chairperson for Sanyati, plus two other officials, were on Friday afternoon picked up by the police and held at Kadoma Central police station. The charges are still not known.Post published in: News