2008 torturers, thieves rewarded

The climate of fear and violence that characterised the run up to the June 2008 sham election where President Robert Mugabe ran against himself has not calmed much in Honde Valley.

Mugabe
Mugabe

After an intensified violence campaign where MDC supporters were subjected to beatings, torture, kidnappings, abductions and other forms of torment, the perpetrators, who are known in the community, have not yet been brought to justice. Instead, as in similar cases across the country, many of those who committed these horrific acts have actually been rewarded. This trend has left victims petrified as the prospects for another election stalk Zimbabwe.

Misheck Dambaremba of Honde Valley recalled how Zanu (PF) youths numbering up to 30 under the headship of “Base Commander” Luke Mutandi and a war veteran identified as Munaziwana of Mugayi village attacked and left him for dead at the Arda-Rumbizi Rest Camp which had been turned into a torture camp.

Victims and other observers identified Munaziwana as the leader of the violent campaign in Ward 3. Although he operated from the periphery, Munaziwana was apparently in charge of all war veterans and Zanu (PF) youths who caused mayhem in the ward in the run up to the June 2008 event.

One of the documented cases involved Tombo Tawanda an MDC-T polling agent who was abducted and taken to the Arda –Rumbizi Rest Camp where he was subjected to savage beatings and torture. Tombo also lost household furniture to the marauding Zanu (PF)youths who stole his solar panel and stoned his house, breaking window panes and roofing sheets in the process.

The matter was reported to the police and no action has been taken as yet. In a similar incident, God Mutambara, the current Zanu (PF) youth chairman in the ward, steered a gang of youths to Gladys Goro’s homestead where they helped themselves to four of her goats. Again, a report was made at Ruda Police Camp, Hauna and again no action has been taken on the case.

It has been established that some of the people who participated in and directed the barbaric campaign have received farms and agricultural inputs as rewards for their actions. For instance, merchants of violence such as Munaziwana have received large portions of land. Munaziwana was allocated a farm adjacent to the Eastern Highlands Tea Estates. The other kingpins of violence are also rewarded using seed maize, fertilizers and farming implements, which are usually distributed clandestinely by partisan officials staffing the local Grain Marketing Board depot.

In one such incident, after surreptitiously spreading the message through party structures Zanu (PF) supporters congregated at the Mutasa GMB depot on Friday 12 January 2012 to distribute seed maize and fertilizers among themselves.

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