MDC veterans unveil house for political victim

BULAWAYO - The MDC Veteran Activists Association has unveiled a two-roomed house for one of the victims of political violence that engulfed Zimbabwe as the ruling Zanu PF  faced the sternest threat to its stranglehold on power from the opposition more than a decade ago.

This was the launch of the veterans’ initiative to build houses for thousands of victims who were either displaced or lost homes as political violence took its toll in the country at the turn of the millennium.

Regina Ndlovu of St Peters on the outskirts of the city, whose entire rural home was burnt down by Zanu PF supporters  in 2002, shed tears when the house was officially handed over to her at a ceremony held at her new home in the suburb.

“My only sin was supporting the MDC and that I was the organising secretary for my district,” Ndlovu told the Daily News as she narrated her ordeal and how she narrowly escaped death that night when suspected Zanu PF hoodlums descended on her home.

Thousands of people were left homeless as ruling party functionaries sought to coerce villagers for support through intimidation and harassment ahead of a watershed election that posed a serious threat to Zanu PF hegemony since Zimbabwe attained independence from Britain in 1980.

Scores more became internally displaced.

“It was at around 11am just three days before the 2000 elections when one sympathiser advised me to vacate my home because a group of people from Zanu PF were on their way to kill me. At first, I ignored him but in no time at all, the mob clad in T-shirts emblazoned Third Chimurenga stormed my homestead.

“I managed to escape but I couldn’t run any further so I had to hide at a neighbour’s homestead. Fearing that the agitated mobsters might see me, I removed my clothes and watched them callously torch and raze eight of my huts,” Ndlovu continued, fighting back tears.

Several MDC supporters that made up hundreds that came to witness the hand-over ceremony and claimed to have been victimised by the ruling party narrated poignant testimonies and versions of their harrowing experiences during that turbulent period.

Addressing hundreds of MDC supporters who thronged the event, former MDC deputy secretary general Tapiwa Mashakada described the initiative by the veteran activists as a noble one.

“This shows that MDC as a party seeks to unite people. Through this initiative we want to recognise the people who suffered their only sin being belonging to the party led by president Morgan Tsvangirai,” Mashakada said.

“Over 500 people were killed in the country as a result of political violence instigated by Zanu PF. As such we welcome this programme by VAA,” he said before appealing for unity within the main opposition party.

Resources permitting, VAA plans to build a house in each of the country’s ten provinces for victims of the internationally-condemned political violence.

Speaking at the same event, VAA secretary general Khumbulani Sibanda said despite receiving threats and discouragement from different quarters over what others have termed “opening scars of the struggle”, there was no going back for the organisation which seeks to assist those that have been abandoned by authorities.

Present at the event was Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo, Senators James Makore, Martson Hlalo and MP Dorcas Sibanda.

Comments (15)

That shows ubuntu although barbarians in zanu will never laern anything this is good gesture indeed we need more stuff of that kind in our country . More houses must be built not burnt down big up MDC all normal people salute you for putting good effort such as the one you have done thank you twaalumba kapatii .

Diibulaanyika - 3 February 2015

chakanaka chakanaka mukaka haurungwi. tinotenda mafadza hama yedu pamwe nesuwo nekutipa musha. God bless you.

taurai - 4 February 2015

Very good MaChinja!!! I have noticed one very good thing about MDC, vatsigiri vayo vanofunga savarungu!! kwete veZANU vanofunga semakudo!!! hellaa

herber - 4 February 2015

hezvouko bwaaaa machinja akumberi kwekumberi zvazvinhu

CHINOTIMBA - 4 February 2015

Good move by the MDC. But in future the party should have a policy of protecting its members/supporters from ZANU thugs and fighting them back vigorously. This will be more useful to the members/supporters, the party as a whole and the country Zimbabwe. This will also help to de-intimidate the Zimbabwean population.

Kondo - 4 February 2015

But those under the influence of some liquids will come and destroy it again.

maita - 4 February 2015

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