MDC-T under attack in Mugabe’s home district

MDC-T officials who stood as polling agents and local council candidates in the July 31st election are living in fear, as threats of violence and eviction by ZANU PF agents continue.

One disturbing case has been reported in Robert Mugabe’s home constituency of Zvimba, where a traditional leader is using resettled farmers to intimidate and harass MDC-T supporters.

Jairos Hofisi, who ran for councilor in Zvimba East Ward 20, had his house broken into just days after ZANU PF announced a landslide victory over the MDC-T. Most of his household goods were destroyed and some valuable items were stolen by ZANU PF thugs under the direction of the local Sabhuku, Roy Chimanikire.

According to Hofisi, Chimanikire wears ZANU PF regalia and frequently goes door-to-door ordering suspected MDC-T supporters to renounce their party membership and return their t-shirts to local party officials. Hofisi said the campaign has seen several party members turn in their shirts and leave the party out of fear.

Hofisi himself was targeted again last week, when Chimanikire’s wife and her family invaded the MDC-T candidate’s homestead. Hofisi said they were banging drums, chanting ZANU PF slogans and singing liberation war songs. They also threatened to hang him or evict him from the area.

Hofisi said he stayed away from his home for several days fearing for his safety. He added that life as an MDC-T official in Zvimba district means dealing with consistent threats and intimidation and the possibility of losing his life.

To understand the situation he is living under, Hofisi said the area is where most large-scale commercial farms once owned by white farmers are located. Many people were settled there as part of the so-called land ‘resettlement’ programme, but the large farms are all owned by ZANU PF chefs.

Post-election retribution by ZANU PF has seen many who served as MDC-T polling agents and aspiring candidates evicted from their homes in countrywide. SW Radio Africa has received such reports from Mt. Darwin, Mberengwa, Zaka, Muzarabani, Chegutu, Chimanimani and Mbare high-density suburb of Harare. – SW Radio Africa

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