Violence flares up in Hurungwe before polls

Ignatius Chombo, the minister of local government and Phillip Chiyangwa, a senior ZANU (pf) official, have been cited as the perpetrators of violence in Hurungwe west ahead of today's by-election here.


The violence here has increased in the past two weeks as expelled zanu(pf) member of parliament, Temba Mliswa battles it out with zanu(pf) sponsored candidate Keith Guzha.

"In this week twelve victims of organized violence and torture sought medical assistance for injuries sustained in separate incidents. On 2 June 2015 five people were injured in separate incidents of politically motivated violence in Hurungwe West. Four of the victims were members of Temba Mliswa’s campaign teams who were assaulted at Sengwe business centre, at Point Four shops and at Chiroti Business Centre. The fifth victim was an MDC-T organizing secretary in the area who was assaulted by soldiers who are staying at a ZANU PF campaign base that has been set up at Chiroti Primary School in the constituency. He was accused of influencing MDC-T supporters in the area to vote for Temba Muliswa on June 10 2015. They presented with soft tissue injuries and one had a fracture in the fingure," says a report prepared by a victim-support NGO.

On 30 May 2015 , four supporters of Mliswa were treated for various injuries after they had been attacked by ZANU-PF militia in the constituency. The victims reported that they had attended a ZEC coordinated voter education at Zvimhonja Business centre when their vehicle came under attack from ZANU PF supporters.

"The assailants used golf clubs, sticks, stones and bottles to assault them. One of the victims claimed that he lost US$ 4000 and a cell phone to the perpetrators. Temba Mliswa who witnessed this attack reported the incident at Magunje Police Station but unfortunately the police men in the charge office refused to record the case. The reason preferred was that the officer in charge was not available. Muliswa was instead arrested an hour later and charged with political violence, he was detained at Magunje police station," says the report.

The NGO reports say 75 percent of victims of political violence treated at its clinics came from Hurungwe west.

"Senior ZANU-PF officials Ignatius Chombo and Philip Chiyangwa were cited as perpetrators of violence in this constituency. Communities have also reported a higher presence of members of the army and state agents in Hurungwe West and Headlands constituencies.," says the report.

Post published in: Human Rights

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