Women, children injured in politically motivated violence

Six women and two children were injured yesterday when ZANU (pf) thugs allegedly attacked MDC- T supporters at Epworth, 25 IMS from Harare.

Douglas Mwonzora
Douglas Mwonzora

The attack occurred after MDC- T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai had finished addressing his party supporters in Epworth.

MDC- T party spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzoro said 11 MDC- T supporters were injured following the attack which he said targeted the most vulnerable members of his party.

“Three of the supporters are still admitted at the Avenues clinic in Harare but the others were discharged,” said Mwonzora.

“The attack targeted women and children because they are vulnerable and defenseless. It is not true that these women and children provoked Zanu (PF) supporters.”

He dismissed reports that his party supporters attacked Zanu (PF) stalwarts. “The attack is a clear reflection of the violent nature of Zanu (PF),” said Mwonzora.

Mwonzora accused Zanu (PF) of orchestrating the attack as an alternative to thwarting the party’s activities.

“Having failed to split MDC using the renewal team, Zanu (PF) and the state machinery are now resorting to physically attacking our supporters.

“This is aimed at forcing the MDC into retaliation so that they can suppress the party’s activities,” said Mwonzora.

MDC- T Secretary for Information and Publicity for Epworth district, Damson Damson identified one Honest Mpondo as one of the supporters who were seriously injured in the attack and said a woman only identified as Yeukai from his party was arrested because the police said they saw her throwing a stone.

Efforts to get a comment from police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba were futile as her mobile was not answered.

However, an official within the ZRP indicated that the Epworth police station had not yet confirmed whether any arrests had been made in connection with the violence.

Mwonzora alleged that an additional four of the MDC- T supporters were attacked in Mbare around 6 p.m yesterday.

Mwonzora said: “They were attacked by suspected Zanu (PF) stalwarts as they disembarked from a commuter omnibus while they were coming from the Epworth rally soon after the Mbare Musika bus terminus.”

Mwonzora said instead of the police protecting the four and taking them to hospital, they were arrested in a move aimed at masking the violent nature of Zanu (PF).

Zanu (PF) spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo’s mobile was not available for comment. MDC Deputy Spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi condemned the attack and called for adherence to the Constitution.

Chihwayi said: “Violence of any form is uncalled for regardless of where it is coming from.

“It is an unfortunate development because people should be given the opportunity to campaign and organise themselves freely as enshrined in the Constitution.”

Chihwayi said because the law protected freedom of association and assembly, it was important for political parties to co- exist in a violent free country.

“Now is the time to find each other and reflect on the way forward instead of engaging in behaviors that are detrimental to peace,” said Chihwayi.

“The responsible party should be embarrassed because of the behavior of its supporters and leave everyone to do their campaigns.”

Chihwayi urged the law enforcement agents to exhibit fairness and arrest perpetrators of violence regardless of their political affiliation.

Chihwayi said: “The police should not be partisan and they should arrest the people who caused the violence.”

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