EASTERN NEWS | 'Zanu PF returns to violence'

MUTARE - Zanu PF has launched a terror campaign in Manicaland with cases of violence being recorded in Nyanga with fearsome intimidation and threats for a repeat of the 2008 violent clampdown of opposition sympathisers in Buhera.

Zimbabwe Political Victims Foundation Trust chairperson Sekai Gombe said his organisation is assisting two assault victims — Paradzai Samachena and Virginia Takurira Tsoka from Nyanga to find legal recourse and medical attention.

Gombe said Samachena from Kanyani Village in Nyanga North was, on June 16, allegedly hit by a catapult on the eye by Shingirai Tembo, believed to be a Zanu PF activist in ward 5 for wearing an MDC Alliance T-shirt.

The case was reported at Ruwangwe Police Station under RRB 2372874.

“He was attacked whilst in the garden and his only crime was to wear an MDC-Alliance T-shirt in defiance of a Zanu PF edict against anything to do with the opposition in the village,” Gombe said.

He said arrangements are being made to have him taken to the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) in Harare to be attended to by a doctor.

Tsoka is a female MDC supporter from Vhurandi Village again in ward 5 who was allegedly attacked with a log by Tinotenda Mutsamwira, another suspected Zanu PF activist on July 16 again for wearing an MDC T-shirt.

“She sustained a swollen right thigh and back injuries,” Gombe said.

This was reported to the local police on CRB number 722/18.

In Buhera, Mutepfe villagers — who had been given plastic plates by Ngonidzashe Mudekunye a former Zanu PF member who filed papers at the Nomination Court as an independent after his CV disappeared, leaving Joseph Chinotimba to sail through the primaries uncontested, had the plates confiscated and burnt in their sight last week by suspected Zanu PF activists.

Over 50 households were affected. There were threats of more severe punishment if they received more gifts from opposition political players.

Albert Mabika, an MDC official in Buhera South, said Zanu PF youths are toyi-toying daily in ward 26, singing intimidating songs, threatening a return of the 2008 violence if the community voted for opposition candidates.

A number of local opposition activists were either killed or maimed in politically-motivated violence with the perpetrators still moving around scot-free.

The ruling party supporters are seeking to use fear to harvest votes for their candidates.

In Chimanimani, resettled communities like Duri, Merry Waters and Charles Wood estates are also constantly being threatened with expulsion from their A2 farms if they vote for opposition candidates, according to Innocent Dube an independent candidate for Chimanimani East.

Dube said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should deploy its officials to ensure that no party uses under-hand tactics to manipulate the electorate.

“This is worrisome and we feel that many of the farmers actually believe the threats. There is a yawning disconnect between what the Zanu PF leadership is saying publicly and through the media and what their supporters are doing out here away from the public glare,” Dube said.

Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairperson Mike Madiro said although he has not heard any reports of violence, his party condemned it and urged people not to be intimidated.

“I’ve not heard of these cases but as a party we condemn violence from whoever. It’s not necessary. We have come of age and we are one people. We urge people not to be intimidated. Your vote is your secret,” Madiro said.

He, however, dismissed reported cases of intimidation in Buhera saying the opposition was likely being over sensitive to people who could be “celebrating their victory in advance or just running to keep fit as part of a football club’s training”.

“Can we be ordering people to stop doing activities to keep fit because we are going for elections?

“I don’t know why the opposition appears to be exaggerating things and sometimes even making false reports as if they are afraid of elections,” Madiro retorted.

Relocated families demand clarity

MUTARE - Families relocated from Chiadzwa diamond fields are demanding clarity over the administrative process that facilitated their movement as well as land tenure system in force in Arda-Transau where they were settled in unclear circumstances.

The residents — through Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (Zela) have approached the Mutare High Court demanding records of all the documentation used to facilitate their relocation by the Local Government ministry.

They also want the minister and Attorney-General (AG) to furnish them with information on the tenure system to be given to the relocated families.

About 1 000 households have been moved from the diamond fields to Arda-Transau since formal mining began in 2010.

They were moved in batches and each household was allocated a house on a standard one-hectare piece of land, a $1 000 disturbance allowance payout and a meagre grocery by companies operating in Chiadzwa then. They are currently settled in six generalised areas identified by the names of companies which were mining in areas they lived before — Anjin housing has 476 households, Diamond Mining Company 278, Mbada Diamonds 100, Jinan 87, Marange Resources 44 and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company 26 households.

The villagers claim that while the ministry of Local Government instructed the local district administrator to make an assessment of their previous homesteads to ostensibly come out with informed compensation on a case-by-case basis, no feedback was ever given.

The ministry is accused of also failing to ensure that the relocated families have guarantees to security of tenure on the allocated properties and land.

On April 16 this year, the villagers also wrote to the Local Government, Mines ministries and the AG, demanding information that they could use to pursue their rights to full settlement and security of tenure but are yet to get any response.

They wanted Environmental Impact Assessment Reports of all the mining companies which were succeeded by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company; the companies’ Environmental Impact Assessment certificates; Special Grants issued to the same companies; the constitution of Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust and; the nature of security of tenure to be availed to relocated families and when that would be done.

They allege that the Local Government minister has the requested information “but has deliberately chosen to ignore the request.”

Village head, subject insist on compensation before relocation

MUTARE - A defiant village head and his subject who resisted forced relocation two years ago are seeking a High Court order barring diamond mining activities within a 500-metre radius of their homesteads until they are relocated.

Tinoengana village head Tichatonga Chiadzwa and his subject Sekai Tinoengana nee Muchabaiwa approached Mutare High Court last week demanding a proper valuation of their losses and consultation in determining adequate compensation before relocation.

They are being represented by Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (Zela) through Maunga Maanda and Associates.

They are demanding that the minister of Local Government make an assessment and evaluation of their loss of land, property, economic, social and cultural rights in the process and present circumstances be made and presented to them for their consideration in determining adequate compensation.

The two, who claim to have lost their income which has been averaging $5 000 and $3 000 respectively has been compromised by Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC)’s seizure of their farming land and mining activities which they say was also risking their health by mining too close to their homesteads.

Chiadzwa and Tinoengana are also citing the Mines minister as the one who formulates and implements both the mining regulations and policy framework for and on behalf of government.

The two are praying for a declaration of their right to the payment of proper and adequate compensation by the ministry of Local Government and ZCDC jointly and severally for the loss of communal land, income, cultural and social rights.

They are also seeking an order compelling the Local Government ministry to carry out an assessment of the quantum of and value of communal land, potential income, property, and social and cultural rights lost as a result of the activities of ZCDC for the purposes of establishing a suitable size of relocation land and compensation.

Comments (1)

Hapana musaga renyemba risingawanikwe nhinhe chokwadi but vanhu ava varikufungidzirwa kuti they are activist of a certain party whose aim is only to tarnish the image of ED because he is preaching peace and unity as we approach elections

tinei ganyanai - 6 July 2018

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