MDC-T ordered to close down office in Chimanimani

The Chimanimani Rural District Council has ordered the MDC-T to close down its office in the area because their operations there ‘contravened planning statutes, governing land issues.’

A letter signed by the district chief executive officer, P. Deure, advises the MDC-T to stop operations with immediate effect. The letter adds that failure to comply with the order will see legal action being taken against the party.

The office had been donated by farming couple Shane and Birgit Kidd to the MDC-T MP for Chimanimani, Roy Bennett, following his parliamentary triumph in 2000.

The couple have for years suffered all manner of assaults, intimidation and unlawful imprisonments from ZANU PF militia for this gesture to the MDC-T. Birgit, originally from Finland, told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the MDC-T are going to seek legal advice over the matter.

The same office was defaced on Tuesday night by a ZANU PF mob, led by Joshua Sacco, the deputy national secretary for production in the ZANU PF youth wing.

Sacco, described by Robert Mugabe as being the last white man standing in ZANU PF, led a group that sprayed the office block with white paint. Despite the incident being witnessed by dozens of locals, no one has been arrested.

Several times in the past ZANU PF thugs have seized this property and attempted to burn it down. They have on occasions painted their own party insignia over the MDC name. On each of these occasions Shane and Birgit have gone on to repaint the building and painted over the war vets and ZANU PF slogans.

This see-saw of events came to a head in 2004 when an angry ZANU PF mob, wielding rocks and iron bars, attacked the Kidds. They were left with horrendous injuries with Birgit needing 15 stiches to a head wound.

‘This is a ZANU PF idea to stop the MDC working in Chimanimani. Everything started fine in 2000 when Roy (Bennett) needed an office. Everything started to change when they accused Roy of different things,’ Birgit said.

Despite living in exile now, Bennett still enjoys massive local support in the community, even after he was forced to flee his Charleswood Estate when the property was violently and unlawfully seized from him by retired army Major General Mike Nyambuya.

Pardon Maguta, the organizing secretary for the MDC-T in Chimanimani said since ZANU PF has failed to physically evict them from the property using violence, they’ve resorted to using another route.

‘ZANU PF is now using the district council to evict us from the area and stop us doing our work. This will not work and we have on many occasions won court orders to use this office, so basically nothing has changed,’ Maguta said.

Post published in: Zimbabwe News

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