Militia move in as police turn blind eye

Mutomba co-ordinates terror
BUHERA - Villagers in Buhera are living in fear after Zanu (PF) re-established militia bases in the area, resulting in the harassment of MDC-T supporters by thugs aligned to the former ruling party.

The villagers last week told The Zimbabwean the scenario is reminiscent of the violence which rocked the area in March 2008 elections, prompting them to call for protection of human rights organisations. “The police are doing nothing and they are the ones that are fuelling violence, an MDC-T supporter said.

Instead of having protection from soldiers, they are in actual fact intimidating us. The villagers report a high presence of armed soldiers in the district who are moving with Zanu (PF) overzealous youths terrorizing perceived enemies of the former ruling party. MDC supporters are being tortured and beaten in the notorious bases at Marenga and Gaza. One villager at Gaza base said Zanu (PF)s William Mutomba was coordinating the terror campaign and is in the process of recruiting youths to embark on violence and intimidation.

Sources said Mutomba is doing the recruitment at his supermarket at Murambinda Growth Point where the youths are fed food and beer. Villagers also complained they were being mobilized to vote for Mutomba and President Robert Mugabe, threatened with unspecified action if they fail to support Zanu (PF). The MDC-T in Manicaland confirmed they received reports of villagers being intimated by Zanu (PF) youths who are setting up bases in the area.

“I have come across such bases at Marenga and Gaza,” said an MDC-T councillor in the area. “I have complained to the police, telling them to immediately dismantle such bases, but nothing is being done. The councillor, who requested not to be named for fear of reprisals, said it was important for people to freely express themselves if the country is to have a truly democratic election.

“We know what we want as a party, the people know what they want, he said. As a people’s party have said no violence. Our position as a party is that people are going to cast their votes freely. People should set their destiny through the next elections so I do not see the reason why they should be forced to vote for Zanu (PF).

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