Violent Chipangano gang campaigning for ZANU PF

The violent ZANU PF youth gang that has terrorised residents of Mbare suburb in Harare has reportedly started campaigning for the party, forcing innocent civilians to reveal their personal details and ordering them to vote for Robert Mugabe in the next election.

The Chipangano gang, who operate with impunity and with the support of top ZANU PF officials, have been regularly forcing local residents, vendors and passersby to attend ZANU PF rallies held on open grounds in the area.

The most recent incident occurred last Saturday at Number Five grounds near Mbare Netball Complex, where people with no identity documents were told to reveal their details to the group, on the promise that Chipangano would approach the Registrar General for help in registering them to vote.

Givemore Chipere from the community radio station CORAH told SW Radio Africa that residents in the area confirmed that the rally was addressed by youth militia and ZANU PF officials, who ordered them to prepare for elections by registering and to make sure they voted for Robert Mugabe.

“There are quite a number of residents there who don’t have identity cards and they were promised that the Registrar General would come to Mbare and they would be given documents with their names so they can vote,” Chipere explained.

He added that there is also an element of fear because anyone who refuses is accused of being a supporter of the MDC formations. “This is very dangerous in Mbare because if you support the MDC you are considered an enemy and can be targetted,” Chipere said.

The activist said violence by Chipangano in Mbare has intensified but there has not been much coverage of incidents in the mainstream media. According to Chipere, the gang has gained so much power that even the police are too scared to interfere.

His description of the situation in the high density suburb of Harare confirms reports previously made to this radio station by the MP for the area, Piniel Denga, who has said the constituency is controlled by the ZANU PF youths with support from top party officials and the police. Denga said victims who report to the police end up getting arrested.

The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) met this week to discuss the issue of the intensifying violence in the country. However no information was made available as to the outcome of that meeting. SW Radio Africa

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