Chief Makore living in fear

Phenias Makore, the substantive chief in Gutu district says he is living in fear after a group of Zanu (PF) supporters and war veterans invaded his homestead last week.

He says they accused him of being an MDC-T activist and demanded that he vacate a farm he was resettled to during the land reform programme, Chief Makore was instrumental in providing help to displaced MDC-T supporters during the previous elections, providing food and shelter at his homestead for victims of politically motivated violence in the district.

“I have been working for the party (MDC-T) for years now,” said Makone. “This is a free country and every individual, chief or not, has a right to support any political party of his choice.”

Makore said the intruders, who were singing revolutionary songs and chanting Zanu (PF) slogans, broke the main entrance to his homestead around midday, and proceeded to his house.

They then demanded he and his family leave the farm before the rainy season. They damaged his property by throwing stones on the roof of his house before fleeing.

He said his family was now living in fear and he regretted accepting the offer of resettlement at Yottum farm, along with several former freedom fighters, saying he hadn’t realised he was surrounded by “snakes and lions ready to devour him”.

In the run up to 2008 elections, Makone was hospitalised after being assaulted by the same group of war veterans for distributing MDC-T regalia to the farming community in the area. The war veterans were fined for public violence by a Masvingo magistrate in 2011.

He said he had talked to the Zanu (PF) provincial chairman, Lovemore Matuke, about the matter, and had been assured of his safety. However, Matuke professed ignorance over the issue when The Zimbabwean contacted him for comment.

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