Notorious gang flees Mugabe rally

HARARE - Zanu PF supporters on Friday turned on one of the suspected terror groups, forcing it to flee Lupane on Friday moments after an angry President Robert Mugabe had finished his address in which he disowned  rogue youths terrorising ordinary citizens using his wife’s name.

Mugabe was left seething with anger when he was briefed on how some Zanu PF youths were using the name of the First Lady Grace in extorting poor ordinary Zimbabweans that he decided enough was enough by telling his supporters to deal with the terror gangs.

What upset Mugabe was that the terror groups were moving in vehicles with the pictures of his smiling wife in Zanu PF regalia plastered on their doors –telling off police officers that they were doing this on behalf of the First Family and Zanu PF.

On Friday, after he finished his address at the youth interface rally in Lupane, angry Zanu PF supporters latched on to a yellow Hummer which was said to be part of the cars used by a group belonging to the Generation 40 faction — the Children of War Veterans Association (Cozwa) — some of whose members were recently floated on social media as kingpins of terror campaigns.

While there were reports that the yellow Hummer was stoned, its owner, a lady who only identified herself as Fiona, yesterday told the Daily News that they had been told to pull down all Grace’s posters from their car and anything that relates to Zanu PF.

“Firstly I want to stress that we have never terrorised anyone and if there are people who say we did that, why don’t they report us to the police?

“I have since deleted everything on my car not because I am guilty of any offence but because they said I must,” she told the Daily News .

However, Fiona denied that her car had been damaged insisting that “we arrived safely”.

“The car is safe and I have not made any police report because I don’t see the need to. About me quitting Cozwa, I have not made that pronouncement as of now,” Fiona added.

Zanu PF youth league secretary, Kudzanai Chipanga yesterday told the Daily News  that he was worried that there were some other members of the group who were still posting negative messages on social media.

“We have information that some of them have complied with the directive to delete their messages but we also hear there is someone called Shoko who is posting nonsense on social media and we are going to stop him,” Chipanga said.

On Friday, Mugabe spoke for the first time on these gangs following reports that communities were living in fear of the purported Zanu PF youths who are operating with impunity.

“I hear there are groups that are going about tarnishing our image and that of the party; terrorising people in the name of the first lady and we should never allow criminals to do that,” he said.

“Kick them out of the way when you see them; do that and do not wait for the police. Give them the punishment that they deserve and call the police later,” Mugabe added.

Reports say the notorious “Al-Shabaab” group is on the prowl in Kwekwe, harassing residents and traders.

Named after the Somalia-based terrorist affiliate of al-Qaeda, fighting to turn the country into a fundamentalist Islamic State, Al-Shabaab has been blamed for many attacks in the troubled Midlands province.

In Harare’s oldest high density suburb of Mbare, a group of Zanu PF youths, known as Chipangano, is terrorising vendors at Mbare Musika by demanding substantial amounts of money to allow them to vend at the popular vending site.

Chipangano — loosely translated to mean an agreement or oath — is a terror group known for ruthlessly dealing with residents and members of the opposition.

It is believed to have started its operations in 1999 at the height of the food riots that were triggered by soaring prices of basic goods.

The resurfacing of the terror groups has heightened fears that the upcoming elections could see violence flaring up in key battlegrounds, as the main political actors — Zanu PF and the MDC — go toe-to-toe in the election contest.

If taken seriously, Mugabe’s remarks might lift the veil of impunity, with the long arm of the law finally catching up with these terror groups.

The opposition MDC has since condemned the surge in violence in the capital which saw its car and properties belonging to its senior officials being torched in suspected cases of arson by people believed to be from Zanu PF.

Last Wednesday, the MDC demanded in Parliament that action be taken on the incidents the party described as acts of “thuggery”.

“I would want the House to request the leader of the House today to issue a statement in relation to the rising political violence, which the country has witnessed over the past two weeks,” Chitungwiza North Member of Parliament, Godfrey Sithole, said in the National Assembly.

On Tuesday night, MDC vice president, Elias Mudzuri’s Dandaro bar in Harare was set ablaze.

On the same night, MDC councillor, Wilton Janjazi’s house was also attacked. A car was also torched at a car park in Kuwadzana by what the MDC claimed were ‘‘Zanu PF thugs”.

Zanu PF secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, claims these incidents were an “inside job”, insinuating that the MDC was trying to gain sympathies by stage-managing the attacks.

Comments (7)

Those who think RGM is sincere are very naive. Did these vehicles start moving yesterday? They have been around ever since this "amai" joined the political fray. People do not need to be told to mete out instant justice - if we had been doing this all along there would be no political violence. The fear in the majority is meted out by a minority. Identify the driver and break his/her arm or simply deflate the front tyres.

Sharia - 24 July 2017

prof esso - 24 July 2017

TERROR against TERROR!! It works. Come on PEOPLE..

Will Blackman - 24 July 2017

Horrible rubbish,people can no longer be fooled.Honda Fits conceal vehicle registration numbers with pieces of cloth inscribed Zanu pf and pass through police road blocks without being questioned.Since 1980,as long as one commit crimes under the pretext of defending Zanu and in particular the President,is quite safe from prosecution or would never be made to account for his/her horrendous criminal actions.

Gen. Spinola - 24 July 2017

Here in Zaka we heard that there are plans to impose this Fiona girl on one of our constituencies. Be warned there is no place for gypsy girls here. we want proper MPs here. Vana vemuno vanoziva zvatinoda. Kwete mbavha.

Zakarinopisa - 25 July 2017

It is a sad day indeed when even the president has to resort to ZANU PF youths to enforce law and order rather than the police. Who then, will control these youths?

Jonso - 28 July 2017


vew - 28 July 2017

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