MDC supporters' houses torched

Five houses belonging to four MDC members were burnt to ashes by known Zanu PF activists in Gudo Village, Bikita South, Masvingo province on the eve of 29 March.

Reports from Bikita say the houses belonging to Million and Muranganwa Muonde and brothers, Josiah and William Kochoro, all MDC activists were burnt to ashes while property worth thousands of dollars was destroyed.

The suspects were identified as Tafa Mahachi and Chitenda from Masvina Village and a Chanhuhwa who are known Zanu PF supporters were arrested after the four made a report at Bikita Police Station.

They were later released and the police are saying they are making further investigations.

The houses were burnt on the eve of 29 March, the day when Zanu PF and its leader, Robert Mugabe were defeated in the harmonised elections by the MDC and President Tsvangirai.

There are reports of an increase in politically motivated violence across the country by Zanu PF hooligans as the country prepares for the referendum this year and elections next year.

In a related incident, three Zanu PF thugs who assaulted six MDC activists in Sanyati, Midlands North province for attending a party training workshop last month have been arrested and brought before a Kadoma magistrate, thanks to Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC).

The JOMIC team intervened by facilitating the arrest of the hooligans. The case has been postponed to April 19, 2012.

The three perpetrators Aeneas Mapfumo, a war veteran, Rasmos Shumba and Stephen Sikini were picked up by the police last week for assaulting Reuben Banda, Josiah Shumba, Amos Shumba, Plaxedes Chadiwa, Kudzanai Nyamadzawo and Miriam Marunga.

The MDC Sanyati District chairperson, Chida Luckmore confirmed the Zanu PF thugs were picked up by the police and were brought to court where they were released on bail.

"Also, the matter is disturbing as Zanu pf established a base near Madzivaenzou Game Park where over 20 youths are mobilised to assault known MDC activists. Intimidation and threats are at an alarming rate in Sanyati,” added Chida.

The Zanu PF supporters attacked Banda accusing him of recruiting people to join the MDC. He was beaten with an iron bar on the forehead and sustained a deep cut. It took him almost two days to get help from both the hospital and the police as officials at both institutions were not co-operative.

Another victim, Shumba, was abducted and assaulted at his home around 7 PM by Zanu PF supporters driving in a grey Mazda B2200 and driven by Elias Mapfumo, a war veteran. The activist only escaped after the vehicle had a front tyre puncture while on their way to a militia base established near Nyabangwe Game Park.

Zhou, who was at his home on the fateful day was attacked by an axe and is receiving treatment at a local hospital after sustaining back injuries.

Maraunga and Chadiwa were picked up by the thugs after they failed to locate their husbands. The two women activists were then assaulted using fists and booted feet on allegations that they knew the whereabouts of their husbands and were refusing to disclose the information. – The MDC Today – Issue 332

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