Politicians urged to provide for victims of violence

The MDC-T losing parliamentary candidate for Uzumba Constituency has called on both winning and losing political candidates to provide for victims of political violence.

Morgan Tsvangirai and Peckson Paul Kazingizi
Morgan Tsvangirai and Peckson Paul Kazingizi

Donating building material to 12 ward 8 households who lost houses during political violence in the run up to the June 29, 2008 Presidential Election run-off at Machinga homestead recently, Peckson Kazingizi urged candidates to uplift the people who had suffered because of political intolerance.

Kazingizi is based in the UK where he earns a living in the medical field. He could not be drawn to attach monetary value to the donation, saying he was ‘not seeking cheap publicity out of the goodwill’.

“Despite my victory having been stolen by Zanu (PF) at the July 31, 2013 election, I felt obliged to help victims recover their normal lives after the elections. Though the violence was carried out before I became a candidate, I saw the need to make a difference and do what the majority of political candidates failed to do for their constituencies,” said Kazingizi, pointing out that most elected legislators would not set foot in their constituencies after winning elections.

Besides the donation, worth thousands of dollars, earlier this year he built two-roomed houses for two families whose properties were destroyed and set on fire by suspected Zanu (PF) supporters during the wave of violence.

In the past he has contributed towards construction of Katiyo and Mashambanhaka Clinics.

MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangira, handed over the donation and urged other party officials to emulate Kazingizi’s gesture as the party had no adequate resources for the exercise.

He said Uzumba had the highest number of people seeking refuge at the party headquarters during the violence.

“It pains me to note that Uzumba carried the heaviest burden of the liberation struggle and now has again borne the burden of political terror. The Zanu (PF) culture of bad governance, terror and economic destruction must cease,” said Tsvangirai, promising to quiz Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, Zanu (PF) Uzumba Member of Parliament and Minister of State for Mashonaland East Province accused of sponsoring the violence.

Tsvangirai promised victims of the Zanu (PF) violence assistance with construction of houses and livelihood when resources permit.

He told party supporters that Zanu (PF) would eventually leave government despite its backing from the partisan state security agents.

One of the households which benefitted from the donation was the Machinga family, which had its eight-roomed house petrol bombed by suspected Zanu (PF) supporters.

Trymore Muromba, a soldier with the Zimbabwe National Army, Zivanai Machinga, Christopher Machinga, Agripa Murombo, Gladmore Kamwanda, Pawadiwa Nzounenda, Takesure Gwati and Stephen Chitapa were among the identified suspects, but no arrests were made.

The arson attack left three head of cattle, dozens of chickens and goats, furniture, two tonnes of maize and peanuts reduced to ashes.

Villagers said on the fateful day in April 2008 seven armed police had visited the Machinga homestead before a truck owned by Mudarikwa roared into the village with hundreds of Zanu (PF) supporters.

The supporters later teamed up with hundreds others ferried into the area on tractors from Nicholas Goche’s Shamva farm later in the evening petrol bombed the Machinga house and other targeted families.

Fortunately there was no one in the house as sympathisers had tipped the family off about the planned attack.

Josiah Machinga, 74, vowed never to dump MDC-T for Zanu (PF) saying the the ruling party had exposed its evilness against his family and other defenceless citizens.

His wife Rosemary, 71, urged MDC to care for victims and remain resolute until Zanu (PF) was defeated through the ballot.

“I will not forgive Zanu (PF) for the brutality it unleashed against my family because of our commitment to freedom of choice and association,” vowed Rosemary.

Florence Machinga, 33, daughter to Rosemary, who contested as MDC-T Parliamentary candidate for the constituency, warned that Zanu (PF)’s days were numbered.

“My family house and livelihood were destroyed by Zanu (PF) because of our political choices. Besides petrol bombing the family house, Zanu (PF) facilitated my dismissal from Chipfunde Secondary School where I was employed as a teacher in 2003, because of my political affiliation,” Florence said.

Mutinhiri, a senior MDC-T member, was touched by the emotional moment and distributed cash to women villagers who were left traumatised by the violence.

“I have distributed cash to the women to buy drugs for hypertension and other illnesses which came as a result of the Zanu (PF) brutality,” said Mutinhiri, who was expelled from Zanu (PF) for preaching peace with MDC while MP for Marondera East.

A villager and MDC supporter, Jonathan Marikiti, was attacked with axes and sustained multiple fractures all over his body. He was left for dead.

According to MDC, violence in the constituency regarded as a Zanu (PF) stronghold, affected more than 200 households, claimed some 15 lives and left hundreds of children orphaned.

Mudarikwa and Goche could not be reached for comment as their mobiles were not reachable.

Post published in: News
  1. Jennifer Buchanan

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