Political Violence Hit Chimanimani

Villagers in the area told Radio VOP on Tuesday that political violence which was being allegedly instigated by war veteran, Ronnie Chimbarara and Jane Knight, the Zanu (PF) Women’s league Manicaland provincial member has been on the increase after President Robert Mugabe’s address of the party’s national youth assembly and the women’s league in Harare two weeks ago.

“Since Mugabe’s address to the youths and women’s league in Harare, people of Kwirire have been having sleepless nights. Every night the villagers are being called to attend campaign meetings at headman Derera’s homestead,” said a project coordinator with a local aid organisation operating in the area.

Last week the war veterans allegedly attacked and destroyed the hut of Caleb Makuyana, an Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activist in the area.

The youths who were singing anti-MDC slogans and toy-toying, descended on Makuyana’s homestead around midnight and accused him of influencing other villagers not to attend the meetings.

Addressing the two party’s organs, Mugabe urged the party’s youths and the women’s
league to prepare for elections mid next year.

“I do not see any reason why we cannot do that. So, are you prepared for elections?’ said Mugabe.

The MDC’s Coordinator for Chimanimani, Pardon Maguta confirmed the resurfacing of political violence in Kwirire.

“For the past two weeks we have been receiving numerous complaints of political violence from our supporters in the Kwirire. Some of the supporters have been at the office to seek advice on what to do in the wake of this escalation of violence in the area,” said Maguta.

Three weeks ago, Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba summoned all Manicaland based headmen to a meeting in Mutare where he threatened them with unspecified action if their subjects voted for the MDC during the upcoming election.