Tsvangirai Petitions Chiefs While Soldiers Beat Villagers

At least nine villagers were rushed to Neshuro general hospital on Thursday morning for medical attention after being severely beaten by a group of soldiers and Zanu (PF) youth in the area for attending the rally last weekend.

A villager told Radio VOP that Zanu (PF) youth led by Andrew Musekiwa in the company of about seven armed soldiers visited homes of MDC-T supporters and severely assaulted some of the people who attended last week’s rally.

Zanu PF politiburo member and Member of Parliament for Mwenezi East constituency Kudakwashe Bhasikiti could not be drawn to commenting on the issues,saying he was away when the incident took place.

“People used to say it’s me who send youth to beat others, now that I was away what are they going to say? I cannot say anything, I was not there,” said Bhasikiti.

MDC-T shadow MP for Mwenezi East Charles Muzenda said this is not the first time soldiers and members of Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) beat up innocent MDC-T supporters.

Masvingo province police spokesperson Inspector Tinaye Matake said he was not in a position to comment since the victimised villagers did not make a police report.

Zaka North legislator and MDC-T provincial organising secretary Earnest Mudavanhu confirmed that their supporters were initially barred from attending a rally in Mwenezi before those who attended were warned that they were not going to escape the punishment.

“We addressed very few people because our supporters were afraid that they would be severely beaten and those who defied the calls and attended our rally are paying the prize. This shows that Smith regime was even better than Mugabe’s Zanu PF,” said Mudavanhu.

Recently, over 500 soldiers marched through residential areas in Masvingo, singing songs and chanting slogans synonymous with Zanu (PF) declaring that President Robert Mugabe must be the country’s life President.

Meanwhile Tsvangirai summoned traditional leaders on Wednesday to clarify “areas of misconception”.

“As leader of the MDC I subscribe wholeheartedly to the respect of traditional institutions,” he said. “However there are historical points of departure when the traditional leaders and political parties seem to be on a conflicting path. For instance, the recent so-called pronouncement about supporting a political party in conflict with the Global Political Agreement (GPA),” said Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai said he had discussed issues with the chiefs including on-going tension in government. The transitional government is in doldrums due to political difference between Tsvangirai and his partner in government Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai accused Mugabe of breaching the GPA and the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

He added: “We also discussed the issue of elections and the consequence of division whilse the country is recovering. Elections yes but why don’t we find common ground among the contesting contestants.”

“The tension that is currently being reflected in government is not helpful to development,” he said.

The President of the Chiefs Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira and two other chiefs met Tsvangirai at his Munhumutapa offices.

Charumbira told journalists that traditional leaders wanted to see dialogue and the country moving forward. He said traditional leaders want peace and where therefore calling for political leaders to find a solution to the current tension in government.