Political violence erupts in Zvimba

HARARE - Political violence is escalating in Mashonaland West, after an activist loyal to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC was viciously battered by alleged Zanu PF youths on March 25.

Wilson Anderson, the MDC branch chairperson in ward 35 in Zvimba East, sustained serious injuries after he was assaulted at Somerby Estate allegedly by eight Zanu PF youths led by one Moses Sanadi.

Sanadi was subsequently arrested on Saturday, and the rest are still on the run.

Mashonaland West police spokesperson Clemence Mabweazara confirmed the arrest.

“I can confirm that there was political violence in Zvimba East and arrests were made but Somerby is under Norton which is the policing area of Harare province,” he said.

“You can get more information from there.”

National police spokesperson Charity Charamba was not immediately available for comment yesterday as her mobile phone went unanswered.

Anderson, who is a previous arson victim after his home was torched in the run-up to the 2002 presidential election, was this time allegedly assaulted for attending the burial of Christpower Maisiri who died in an inferno last month in Mashonaland East Province.

He was treated at Norton Council Hospital where he received eight stitches below his left eye.

MDC organising secretary for Mashonaland West Wilson Makanyaire told the Daily News the party was disturbed by the recent upsurge of political violence and called on political leaders to rein in their supporters ahead of elections.

“As the party leadership, we went to Zvimba East to verify the facts but as you are aware I am a member of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) so I cannot comment more.

“I refer you to the threesome Jomic chairpersons of the province,” said Makanyaire.

MDC provincial secretary Greenwich Ndanga — who ferried Anderson to hospital — said the Zanu PF youths who attacked Anderson were accusing him of continuing to participate in MDC activities as well as recruiting more people.

“They were hiding in a maize field near his homestead and attacked him when he was about to enter his kitchen,” Ndanga said.

“They accused him of being a sell-out after they saw his picture in the Daily News at the burial of Christpower.

“He went to mourn with the Maisiri family because he is an arson victim himself after his two children were disfigured in a similar incident allegedly at the hands of suspected Zanu PF again in 2002.”

Political violence has reared its ugly head in Mugabe’s home province since last year after Zanu PF declared it a no-go area for the MDC.

Houses belonging to MDC activists were reportedly burnt down by suspected Zanu PF functionaries and at one point party secretary-general Tendai Biti was forced to address supporters in the bush in Darwendale following skirmishes with Zanu PF supporters. - Staff Writer

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