By Lance Guma
This week SW Radio Africa focuses on the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Didymus Mutasa, and the violent political campaigns he has led in his Headlands constituency and other parts of the country. As a former Minister responsible for the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) he has often used its agents.
In 2002 Mutasa shocked Zimbabweans when he blatantly said he would not care if 6 million people died because of food shortages, as the country would be better off with ZANU PF members only. During that time ZANU PF was notorious for politicising the distribution of food aid, especially in rural areas, and hungerwas widespread.
A dossier in our possession documents how prominent MDC-T activist Shepherd Maisiri, a poor farmer in the Inyati Resettlement area, has suffered relentless persecution by Mutasa since 1999. In addition to being abducted and tortured, his homestead has been burnt a record seven times in the past 10 years.
The people assigned by Mutasa to carry out these abuses have been identified as Walter Rushambwa, Maxwell Chidzambwa, Punish Mhiripiri, Walter Mhepo (now deceased), Kainos Chidzambwa, Albert Makura, ZRP police Inspector Muchazorwa and Lovemore Manenji.
In one incident Maisiri was put into a jute bag, bundled into Punish Mhiripiri’s truck and dumped in the Rusape Dam. He was only saved by fishermen laying their nets during that night.
On the 3rd January 2008, Maisiri was in Harare when he was again manhandled by two men who took him to a waiting car. To his surprise Mutasa was there and personally threatened him before driving off. Later that day a man and a woman followed Maisiri to Mbare Musika.
“They boarded the same bus with him to Mutare, where he was arrested on arrival, put into cells and released. The two people who had followed him from Harare were at the police station when he was released; Maisiri sensing danger managed to outmanoeuvre them and escaped to Mozambique that same night.”
Mutasa’s thugs however were not done with Maisiri. With the MDC-T activist hiding in Mozambique, one of the thugs, identified as Lovemore Manenji, raped Maisiri’s wife on the 23rd June 2008 as punishment ‘for hiding her husband.’
On the 22nd May 2008 another activist, Taurayi Kamuchira, was abducted by ZANU PF militia under instruction from Mutasa. They took him to Chinyamukamani base where youths led by Phillip Mushayi assaulted him with logs, iron bars and whips. Kamuchira died during the assault.
Philip Mushayi addressed the MDC-T activists detained at the base, telling them what had happened to Kamuchira was going to be their fate as well. He said Mutasa had given them authority to kill anyone who supported MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai so they were safe from arrest.
On the 25th June 2008 armed youths deployed by Mutasa wreaked havoc in the Eagles Nest area of Headlands and were seen driving around in two vehicles, one of them reported to be Mutasa’s Toyota Venture.
Masitafundikera Gumura was attacked at his home by this gang after they accused him of leading MDC activities in that area. The attack was so ruthless that Gumura died during the assault. His wife Aquiline Sanzvengwa Gumura was also assaulted and sustained severe injuries all over her body. She was taken to hospital the following morning but passed away on the 28th June 2008.
On the 25th June 2008, Mutasa’s gang also pounced on Robert Ziyengwa and his wife at their home in Headlands. The elderly couple was accused of supporting the MDC-T. The gang used pieces of wood, iron bars and gun butts to assault them. The beating was so severe the elderly couple also died during the assault.
In another incident on the same day residents in the Eagles Nest area were targeted by Mutasa’s gang, which included ZANU PF youths and CIO operatives. Defenceless villagers were killed in cold blood while the police refused to intervene. Some were beaten to death and others were stabbed. Also killed was MDC activist Sandros Mandizha. SW Radio Africa
Many other incidents were documented and you can view them in the full dossier. Click here
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