Ian and I attended mass at St. Augustine's Roman Catholic Church, Hatcliffe, which was delayed due to a baptism session that was incorporated in the mass. We only finished at about 13.30hours. My husband left me behind as he was going to the office to do budget preparations, expecting me to proceed to the rally after my Sunday meetings. I was expected only at 2:00pm while others in the meantime, proceeded with entertainment and introductions according to our tradition.
To my surprise, one of my staffers called me out of my meeting,to tell me that all hell had broken loose at the venue,as marauding ZPF youths were attacking the gathering at the shops. At the same time, churchgoers who had left after mass came back to tell everyone to plan the homeward route in such a manner that they avoid the Hatcliffe Shops vicinity.
I asked if the police had been informed. I was advised that Deputy Mayor Chiroto, who is the local counsellor, and my husband, Ian, who had been contacted by Counsellor Chiroto, had gone to Helensvale Police Station together.
In the meantime, the MDC crowd and other members of the constituents who had come to listen to their MP, were forced to defend themselves while the police were, hopefully,coming.
To their surprise ZPF youths who are accustomed to a docile MDC crowd, were surprised by the resolute defense of the people's right to assemble as the attackers were sent scurrying in all directions.
In the meantime, our people removed the P.A. System that we had hired to safety.
Councillor Chiroto, Mr Makone and one of my drivers who had also been injured, ferried injured people to Avenues Clinic for urgent medical attention.
Ian came back to check to see if it was now safe and if the police had responded to their earlier plea for assistance.
The law abiding crowd was relieved when the riot squad arrived. They appeared to be driving the ZPF youths back successfully. At that point, I received a call from one of the organizers to come and address the constituency. No sooner had I left my sanctuary than I received another call to say that I should turn back, because the ZRP were now firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd, as the ZPF youths were following close behind throwing rocks at the same crowd.
As some of our officials were walking to safety with the riot police, two of the ZRP officers were overheard saying 'If we could only catch two or three MDC people, we will beat the hell out of them'.
At that very moment, one of our people walking next to my husband, was struck by a rubber bullet. Fortunately, he only suffered muscular shock. I wonder who the real target was!
Obviously against such a force, the rally had to be abandoned. Until 11:00 pm at night, I was still stuck at Avenues Clinic checking on the progress of the gallant cadres who stood their ground as the merciless forces of Armageddon pelted them with rocks, sticks and bottles and attacked them with bicycle chains.
I believe one of our youths had a gun placed against his neck by Justice Zvandasara in full view of the police, and no action was taken against him. Justice Zvandasara is the ZANUPF candidate of the harmonized elections of 2008 in Harare North Constituency. Obviously, I trounced him in that contest and Counsellor Chiroto was elected to Harare City Council. Our hard fought battle was dampened by the cold blooded murder of Mrs Chiroto at the hands of ZANUPF.
The constituency was shocked to hear that the same Justice Zvandasara is the representative for ZANUPF at JOMIC (Joint Monitoring and Implementation of the Global Political Agreemen). The same person was on Sunday coordinating reinforcements for his coward forces from neighbouring farms and townships.
If is very clear that ZANUPF have targeted Harare North, Epworth, Mbare and Harare South as areas that they can cower into submission come next election. Fortunately, their method of murder and mayhem has long seized to impress the people of this largely Christian and God fearing nation.
If we can no longer hold meetings that have Police clearance, even when the Police are there, would it be wrong to come to the following conclusions; That the police only came because ZANUPF had been routed That the police did not come to protect law abiding citizens That the police are complicit with ZANUPF That it is the police who do not want MDC to assemble anywhere in Zimbabwe That the police regard MDC as a rogue party that should be disbanded?
The Minister of Home Affairs cannot be protected by her own staff! I would have expected them to be there earlier, to ensure that all was well on the ground from early that morning. I doubt very much that our CID section did not know that there were other people planning to disturb the authorized gathering.
The ZRP that I know, have their eyes and ears everywhere unless of course they have lost steam like all other institutions in the country, or they are deliberately turning a blind eye to these attacks, which are now everywhere, where the MDC tries to assemble. – Theresa Makone, co-minister of home affairsPost published in: News