Movement for Democratic Change Organising Secretary for Binga District, Garisa Moyo, told Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition on Monday:
“Councilors are being threatened with having their arms cut off, for not attending meetings organized by Zanu (PF) activists. The big challenge is that the police are now involved in these activities.”
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spoke to people from Chungu and Lusulu areas in Binga North under chiefs, Simupa, Sinakatenge and Sinamusanga, who had reportedly come under siege from the three traditional leaders who have been enlisted by Zanu (PF) to work with its coercive party activists to force villagers to attend the party’s meetings.
“Villagers who fail to attend the meetings are allegedly being overtly threatened with having their limbs cut off by the Zanu (PF) militias,” said the report.
Those who spoke to the Crisis Report said this was a reminder of the infamous “short and long sleeve” campaign whereby many people had their arms and or legs cut off during the violent June 2008 presidential election run-off by Zanu (PF) militias across the country.
Moyo revealed that villagers were also being forced by the chiefs to pay a fine in cash for failing to attend these meetings.
An MDC-T supporter, one Omi, is one of the victims that Moyo cited who was recently fined US$40 by Chief Sinakatenge, for failing to attend a Zanu (PF) meeting which the traditional leader addressed.
Kariba District where Moyo is District Organising Secretary for the MDC-T led by Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, is on the border with Binga North.
Cases of political intimidation and harassment which involve Zanu (PF) militias, soldiers, and traditional leaders against villagers in various parts of the country, continue to be reported as Zimbabwe approaches harmonized elections in 2013.
Councilor Temba Toonse Kunjulu from Jabuba Ward in Binga is reported to have identified Zanu (PF) activist, Kenias Charuma, and a former intelligence agent, Isaac Ndebele, as part of the militia intimidating people in Binga North for not attending Zanu (PF) meetings in the area.
Meanwhile war veterans’ leader, Jabulani Sibanda, who is in Nyanga North recently held a meeting in the area where he misinformed villagers that the constitution making process had been stalled by MDC-T leader and Tsvangirai.
He said this was because Tsvangirai was on insisting in including homosexuality in the new constitution.
Sibanda is also said to have made threats of violence to MDC supporters.
Spokesperson for MDC Nyanga North Constituency, Sekai Gombe, confirmed to the Crisis Report Team that:
“Jabulani threatened all opposition parties stating that Zanu (PF) is going to carry out a disciplinary process particularly to individuals who did not vote for President Robert Mugabe in the 2008 harmonised elections. Sibanda promised inputs for Zanu (PF) supporters only.”
Gombe said following the meeting farm inputs were distributed to perceived Zanu (PF) supporters only. The inputs included 10kg cotton seed bags and 10kg Shumba variety maize seed, and they had stickers with President Robert Mugabe’s image.
“However, some of the Zanu (PF) supporters were disgruntled, saying the party was giving them worthless inputs which are not suitable for Nyanga region,” said Gombe.
One of the Zanu (PF) supporters, Denius Tembo, who castigated his party is said to have been retributively assaulted that same afternoon by the Zanu (PF) youth chairperson for Nyanga North Ward 4, Isaiah Tembo, and an Officer, John Katerere, and other Zanu (PF) youths. Denius got injured on his left leg and allegedly lost a cell phone and some money in the process according to Gombe.