In June last year SW Radio Africa posted shocking video footage online in which Raradza could be seen and heard threatening villagers with violence if they support the MDC-T. He warned people at the meeting that those who support the MDC-T will be beaten by war vets and youth militias, or denied food as punishment.
Several months later a dossier supplied to us exposes the brutality and level of terror employed by Raradza. More than 22 MDC-T officials and supporters were killed in 2008 under his terror campaigns which were also sanctioned by Chief Changara Kasekete, a traditional leader in the Dande area of Muzarabani District.
Some of those who assisted Raradza as ‘terror commanders’ included, Bitu Mazhuwana, Proud Photso (police), Diamond Tapana, Owen Sonono, Yahwe (Central Intelligence Organisation), Charles Chiringa, Muzanenhamo Kamusengezi (soldier), Jenia Manyeruke (Senator) and Luckson Bumhira.
“Raradza’s vicious and murderous activities were complimented in the north by another equally ruthless character known as Luke Mushore,” the dossier says. The trail of violence and destruction including the burning of homes resulted in the deaths of dozens of MDC-T supporters.
Those killed included Tennyson Manyimo, Titus Goho, Canaan Dzamwarira, Clemence Chirozva, Learnmore Chingani, Muzumbe, Taurai Chamboko, Ratidzayi Dzenga and Freddy Macheka. They were accused of voting for Morgan Tsvangirai in the March 2008 presidential election in which the MDC-T leader beat Mugabe.
Some of those who survived and tried to report the violence at the local police station were themselves arrested and charged with causing violence or stock theft.
In April 2010 Raradza showed his disregard for the coalition government when his gangs hounded 58 MDC-T supporters out of their homes. The victims went to camp at Muzarabani Police station with their children hoping for protection but the officer in charge, a known ZANU PF activist, refused to act.
This new campaign of intimidation was in preparation for the constitutional outreach exercise that was meant to begin in the area at the time. Local MP’s Raradza and Mushore instructed the gangs to make sure no MDC-T supporters contributed during the constitutional outreach meetings.
In one of the incidents Sunungurai Sengweni was attacked by the gang, his house was destroyed and his cattle and goats were driven away.
Farirai Hwatura an MDC-T candidate for councillor was abducted from his home by the gang. They took him to a torture camp in a bush far away from his home and assaulted him. He was warned he was going to die if he continued supporting the MDC-T.
On the 1st of May 2008, a large group of ZANU PF militia attacked Wanzirai Magodo’s homestead. They pulled all the buildings down, looted and burnt what was left. Magodo’s family was also assaulted. The gang stole Z$900 000 000 and the family’s only tractor was set on fire.
The perpetrators were identified as Charles Chiringa and Edward Raradza in the company of ZANU PF youths and soldiers. The same gang left a trail of destruction in the Charunda village. Scores of villagers were left wounded and homeless as their homes were destroyed, burnt and stripped off their possessions. – SW Radio Africa NewsPost published in: News