CHIPINGE – Many people in the south-eastern district of Chipinge are living in fear after many reported incidences of politically motivated violence, it has been learnt.
All the incidences of violence and intimidation of recent days were perpetrated allegedly by members and supporters of Zanu PF against members and supporters of the opposition MDC Alliance; real or perceived.
MDC Alliance won two out of the five parliamentary seats for Chipinge district; Chipinge West (Sibonile Nyamudeza) and Chipinge East (Mathias Mlambo). Before the elections, the party only held Musikavanhu constituency, which it however lost to Zanu PF this time around.
Zanu PF also won Chipinge South and Chipinge Central.
Elsewhere, a member of the opposition coalition reportedly had his house razed down by suspected Zanu PF supporters in Bikita South. However, no confirmation could be obtained on this incident by the time of going to print.
In Chipinge Central Ward 8, cases of intimidation and violence are reportedly on the rise, with members of the ruling Zanu PF party said to be moving from one house to another either beating or threatening those perceived to be sympathetic to the opposition.
Arnold Chipezano, who works at a farm as a tractor driver, said he was being threatened by ruling party supporters who accused him of being an MDC Alliance supporter.
“At work and in the residential compound, I am being threatened with unspecified action. They warned me to pack my bags and leave, but I don’t have anywhere to go. Besides, how would I earn a living if I just leave my job?
“They are saying they are only waiting for the MDC Alliance’s court application against the election results to be decided after which they will deal with me,” he said.
In Ward 4, many opposition members and supporters have reportedly fled the country to Mozambique fearing reprisals.
Many people said despite some foreign observer groups claiming they deployed teams across the country, Chipinge seemed left out, thereby contributing to what they considered to be disproportionate incidents of violence as compared to what is happening in the rest of the country.
Another opposition supporter who preferred not to be named said there was a known Zanu PF members who was openly intimidating opposition supporters.
“You report him to the police and he is picked up, but he would be back the following day. He was once arrested for tearing down Chamisa’ poster but nothing happened to him,” he said.
However, a nurse at Junction Gate Clinic in Ward 8 said she had not treated any injuries from the alleged political violence cases.
The Human Rights NGO Forum has released its ‘2018 Post-Election Violence Monitoring Report’, a documentation of alleged cases of politically-motivated violence perpetrated against the opposition after the July 30 elections.
Government has however trashed the report, with presidential press secretary George Charamba saying the report was designed to dupe the ‘gullible’ donor community.
“It is not about the state of human rights, in the country as it is for donor funding. In short, if blood is not produced on the streets, it must be produced on paper,” Charamba was quoted by State media as saying.local