Mash West chief purges MDC activists

HARARE - A chief in Mashonaland West has begun a purge of MDC activists from their land, redistributing the land to Zanu PF functionaries.

Mark Manhenga, MDC deputy organising secretary for Hurungwe West, has been ordered to vacate the land he inherited from his late parents 10 years ago.

He has been threatened with death by village head Romance Gawa acting on instructions from Chief Dendera.

Manhenga said the traditional leaders wanted him out of the land he has called home for over three decades to accommodate a Zanu PF activist Kerrison Muchenje.

“Gawa told me MDC activists were not tolerated in his area and that I must look for alternative residence or I risk losing my life if I don’t vacate,” he said.

Manhenga said he was taking the threats seriously as he has witnessed Zanu PF brutality before in Hurungwe West during and after the 2008 presidential runoff which the MDC claims saw over 200 killed.

Police officer-in-charge of Magunje Police Station inspector Mugwidi confirmed receiving the report.

“We have indeed received a report by an MDC activist alleging that he had been threatened over a piece of land,” he said.

 “He has been advised to seek recourse at the traditional courts since they have the jurisdiction over land disputes.”

Asked how that was possible when the traditional leaders were the accused, Mugwidi said Manhenga should come back and see him personally.

MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said his party had  instructed its provincial leadership to approach the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) over the matter.

“We are very saddened by the outbreak of violence and displacement throughout the country in recently,” Mwonzora said.

“The feeling is that Principals must act now.”

Mashonaland West, which is President Robert Mugabe’s home province, has of late increasingly become a hotly-contested area with Zanu PF stalwarts declaring it a no-go area for the MDC. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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