MDC Supporters Ordered Out Of Umguza

The Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) outreach team is expected to start holding meetings to gather views for a new constitution in that area on that day.

Umguza constituency is under Zanu (PF) legislator Obert Mpofu who is also the Mines Minister.

Johannes Sibanda the Zanu (PF) councilor for Ward 12 in Umguza on Friday teamed up with war veterans Leonard Tshuma and Malokosi Moyo and called for a ward meeting at Sawmills business centre.They instructed all MDC supporters to leave their homes before 15 August, so that they will not be able to attend the COPAC meeting penciled for that day.

Speaking to Radio VOP from the mainstream MDC provincial offices in Bulawayo, where he had already taken refugee, Amos Ngwenya, the MDC Chairman for  Ward 12, said  Sibanda ,Tshuma and Moyo had  threatened violence against  MDC supporters  if they did not  leave their homes.

“They have threatened to burn our homes if we don’t leave. Sibanda said no MDC supporter should be allowed at the COPAC meeting as this will disturb their plans, which we don’t know,” said Ngwenya.

Ngwenya who lost to Sibanda during the council elections in 2009 said together with other MDC supporters in the area they had made a report at Nyamandlovu police station and to local chief Deli Mabhena but nothing had been done against Sibanda and the war veterans.

“When we went to Nyamandlovu police station on Sunday to make a report, police officers on duty promised to look into the matter but nothing has been done”.

Contacted for comment spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena said: “But  those  people  have  to  raise  these issues with COPAC.  I will  check  with Nyamandlovu police station”

Mpofu refused to comment saying he was in a meeting.

Rights groups accused Zanu (PF) of coaching villagers on what to say and in some areas Mugabe’s party had appointed some of the villagers to speak on behalf of the rest. The selected spokespeople were reading from prepared notes when responding to questions by constitutional outreach teams.