Activists banished by headman

Seven MDC-T political activists in the Mutsamvu area in Chimanimani East were this week banished from the area by their local headman, Timothy Madzianike, for reporting to the police three Zanu (PF) leaders who had assaulted them.

The seven MDC-T supporters: Mary Kuretu, Lina Marova, Agnes Chishuro, Vivian Chase, Eunice Kuretu, Ndorekeraani Chirongwe and Naume Mutereke on Wednesday this week appeared before the traditional court of headman Madzianike at Mutsamvu primary school facing charges of reporting to the police Zanu (PF) thugs who in March this year severely assaulted them for attending an MDC restructuring meeting in the area.

The seven MDC supporters identified the assailants’ leaders as Kumbirai Mushango, the Zanu (PF) district chairperson for the area and his deputy, Uleki Mugebe and Marangani Mutambara, a war veteran.

One of the victims, Chirongwe suffered a fractured arm and was admitted at the United Methodist Church run hospital, after Mushango hit him with a log. Mushango is also accused of being involved in the torching of MDC supporters’ huts in Nyambeya area in Cashel valley last month.

Following the assault, the victims reported the case to the police but the police took their time to investigate the case.

“Headman Madzianike summoned us to his court on Wednesday and accused us of reporting Zanu (PF) officials and war veterans to the police without first seeking his permission. As punishment, we have been asked to pay US$30 each and leave the area with immediate effect. The headman said he does not want MDC supporters in the area. Last night we slept in the bush,” Mary Kuretu told The Zimbabwean in an interview.

Kuretu sought refuge at the MDC Chimanimani district offices. Mushango and Mugebe also attended the court session where the seven’s fate was decided.

“Since the 2008 elections, we have not known peace here in Mutsamvu. We are being harassed, beaten and sexually abused by Mushango and his colleagues. The headman is a Zanu (PF) supporter. We do not know what to do because now for the love our party we are now homeless,” said Kuretu in tears.

The MDC district coordinator for Chimanimani office, Pardon Maguta, confirmed the incident.

“The situation prevailing at Mutsamvu is now getting out of hand. How can a mere headman punish ordinary citizens for expressing their democratic right to join a party of their choice?” said Maguta. The headman could not be reached for comment.

Post published in: Zimbabwe News

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