Election Violence 2008 – here is the evidence

The Zimbabwean newspaper published numerous verified reports of election violence in 2008. Here is a selection from our archives for anyone whose memory needs jogging.

Three MDC activists killed in petrol-bomb attack

Zanu PF thugs in army uniform ran riot and petrol-bombed MDC offices at Jerera Growth point in Masvingo last night, killing three MDC officials as the regime’s genocide worsens ahead of the Presidential election run-off scheduled for 27 June 2008.

Four MDC activists are missing while two are critically injured and are detained at St Anthony’s Musiso hospital.

The MDC is awaiting the submission of the names of the deceased from our structures on the ground.  A truckload of Zanu PF thugs in army uniform besieged the MDC offices at Jerera growth point in Masvingo at midnight yesterday. They first shot the victims before bombing the MDC offices where some victims of political violence in the area had sought refuge. Â

The charred remains of three bodies have been discovered while four activists are missing. Armed police have now sealed off the offices, which have been razed to the ground. Â

Ever since President Morgan Tsvangirai trounced Robert Mugabe in the harmonised polls on 29 March, the regime has gone on a violent retributive agenda against MDC actvists, trade unionists and civic leaders.

The violence has spread nationwide but has mainly targeted Gutu and Zaka in Masvingo, Uzumba, Murehwa, Mutoko and Mudzi in Mashonaland East province, Buhera, Makoni and Mutasa in Manicaland province, Hurungwe, Kadoma, Chegutu and Zvimba North in Mashonaland West province and Shamva, Mazowe, Mount Darwin and Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central province. Â

It cannot be a free and fair election when our people continue to be killed, brutalised and maimed. Armed militia have brought the spectre of death in both rural and urban homes, forcing the victors in the last election to flee into the mountains. Teachers have not been spared. They have also been killed and brutalised and most have fled their schools. Â

Zanu PF thugs have barricaded rural roads with impunity while villagers in most rural areas have been forced to attend night vigils where they are threatened with death if they vote for President Tsvangirai. Villagers cannot move from one village to the other without Zanu PF “passes.” As a nation, we have retreated centuries back to the Stone Age politics of violence and coercion.   Ten thousand homes have been torched throughout the country. The regime has continued, with neither shame nor compunction, its barbaric onslaught on innocent citizens for expressing their sovereign will on 29 March.

Mugabe is masquerading as a victim when he is a perpetrator of violence. The public media, especially the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and The Herald, have catalysed violence through hate language against the new ruling party, the MDC.

The MDC is appealing to SADC, the African Union and the international community to take a tough stance against the regime in order to allow the people of Zimbabwe to freely express themselves once again on 27 June 2008. Â

The MDC remains convinced that whatever antics the regime engages in, the people of Zimbabwe have spoken and they will speak again. Â

We are ready to rerun and rewin. On 27 June, the people of Zimbabwe will vote for a new President who is ready to deliver a new Zimbabwe.

MDC Information and Publicity Department

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