2008 violence haunts Zanu PF officials

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By Tonderai Saharo

THE ghost of the 2008 violence ridden election has returned to haunt a Zanu PF Councilor, a headman and eight other party activists who unleashed a reign of terror in rural Zaka at the height of the election after they were summoned to appear in court facing stock theft charges.

The group were part of a Zanu PF militia group that created village bases and unleashed terror on suspected opposition members in Zaka’s Ward 15 during and after after the 2008 election.

Headman Govani Chitomba , Councilor Steven  Harudzibwi, Sunamisai Chivamba, Herbert Mapande, Tawanda Zinhiva, Richard Chibhoma, Clemence Dende, Sekai  Pepukai, Cosmas Mapfumo and Zvirevo Majoni had their case transferred from Zaka Magistrate Court to Masvingo for trial.

They are due to appear in court on December 3, under criminal record number CR 106/2/29.

According to court papers gleaned by the 10 forcibly took two cattle from Alwis Mashiri and Tongai Mashingire, fellow villagers, whom they accused of being MDC supporters in the area.

The gang then slaughtered  the beasts and  used the meat to feed party supporters during Zanu PF campaign activities in the Ward.

For nearly a decade the two villagers sought justice but their case was always swept under the carpet by police in Zaka, it is claimed.

However after attending community meetings conducted by a local non-governmental organisation, COTRAD, in Zaka the two raised concern over the way their cases was handled and were offered assistance on the way to proceed .

The two villagers were able to report again at Zaka Police Station in February this year and investigations were done leading to the arrest of the Zanu PF supporters.

The Zanu PF leader and now late former President Robert Mugabe lost the first round of election to the late MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai before a run-off was called after the opposition candidate reportedly failed to garner enough votes to assume power.

However Mugabe turned the run-off into a bloodbath in which hundreds of MDC activists were tortured and killed while thousands were displaced. Tsvangirai pulled out of the race citing State sponsored violence leaving Mugabe to go it alone. The result was rejected at home and abroad forcing Mugabe into a government of national unity with Tsvangirai until the 2013 elections.