MDC Official Held Under Siege

Jonh Dhindiwe is MDC-T treasurer for Hurungwe north and operates a business in which he provides truck drivers with parking space if they want to rest. The truck inn is popular with long distance truck drivers going to Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and DRC coming from South Africa.

For the past three days hired villagers including women and youths have been holding all night vigils at the premises demanding for Dhindiwe’s eviction. They destroyed a crèche, dip tanks for livestock, and invaded one of his offices for use by one Boniface Nhanhana who is claiming he wants to build a hospital. The demonstrators also disconnected power lines and cables.

Nhanhana confirmed to Radio VOP that council had approved his proposal to build a hospital, saying villagers calling for Dhindiwe’s head supported the idea. This is despite that there is a nearby council clinic. When asked why electricity cables were disconnected and why the demonstrators were not respecting the court order not to interfere with Dhindiwe’s property, he said: “Dhindiwe is MDC and we do not want him here”.

A villager alleged that a local Zanu (PF) councillor for ward 7, Jonathan Matesanwa, was demanding parking fees from the truck drivers who use Dhindiwe’s facilities and pocketing the money.

Dhindiwe told Radio VOP, ”I was looking forward to see police taking action against the suspects because I have a court protection order barring anyone to evict me from these premises. I have title deeds for all these. Instead police are instructing drivers not to park here as they used to do”.

A junior police officer at nearby Makuti police station said their hands were tied and could not do anything.
”What is being done is criminal and there is a political hand behind it all. We can not do anything against Zanu (PF) supporters as we risk being fired.”

There was no immediate comment from police and council as their phones went unanswered.