By Tichaona Sibanda
Saviour Kasukuwere, the ZANU PF Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment, was on Tuesday fingered as the man behind the mob that engulfed the city in chaos and nearly brought the capital to a standstill.
SW Radio Africa has received reports from multiple sources showing that the almost month long stint of violence in Harare is state-sponsored.
Several MDC Ministers, including party secretary-general Tendai Biti, have raised questions about the failure of the government to respond promptly and effectively to the escalation of violence. All security related ministries are under ZANU PF ministers, except Home Affairs which is co-shared between the MDC and ZANU PF.
The inept and slow response to the scenes of destruction and violent attacks on MDC activists have also raised disturbing questions about the police approach in dealing with the violence.
A Harare based source told us that a meeting was hosted at Kasukuwere’s residence where the plan was hatched to send party youths, to demand total empowerment. Instead of sticking to their plans, the mob got greedy and, with the help of a police escort, went on the rampage, looting and pillaging downtown Harare.
Another source told us there also appeared to be a clear design behind all the ‘senseless’ violence, going by the targets they had chosen – shops, houses and flea markets – all owned by known MDC supporters.
Kasukuwere, whose business interests range from oil to transport and banking, is reportedly in charge of the group that is leading this mayhem in Harare. SW Radio Africa can reveal that this group includes Moses Tawanda from block 4 Matapi flats and Susan Mapurisa and Violet Mandenda from block 7 Matapi flats.
Others named are Martin Matinyanya, Eddie Manjovu, Riot Gift, and someone called Hurudza, who refers to himself as Osama bin Laden. The member in charge of Mbare Matapi police station, identified as Mabwe, is also allegedly part of this group.
ZANU PF critics said elite members in the party are determined to do whatever it takes to keep the former ruling party in power.
MDC’s deputy Minister of Justice, Obert Gutu, said he was appalled by the horrible acts of violence directed against members and leaders of his party in Zimbabwe.
‘We are under siege from state-sponsored and state-orchestrated violence. The dictatorship realises this is the end game and it has now openly declared war against innocent, unarmed and law-abiding citizens. Evil will never succeed over good,’ Gutu said.
Leading pro-democracy activist and lawyer, Dewa Mavhinga, said the violence instigated by ZANU PF vindicated the position of civil society organisations, that without reforms there can never be a free and fair election in Zimbabwe.
‘A government which cannot provide safety to its people is incapable of holding free and fair elections. It was obvious with this violent machinery that has not been dismantled, and a partisan police force that does not impartially apply the law, it was only a matter of time before state sanctioned violence visited us again,’ Mavhinga said.
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition regional director said in terms of the necessary reforms (legislative, institutional and constitutional) Zimbabwe has not arrived at a situation to have elections.
‘We still don’t have institutions and mechanisms to prevent state sponsored violence to ensure that perpetrators are brought to account. This remains the key challenge to Zimbabwe.
‘If Robert Mugabe and his junta fail to deal with the violence, it will be time to knock on the doors of the AU and SADC and tell them they cannot support any process to an election without reforms that guarantees the safety and freedom of the electorate,’ Mavhinga added. SW Radio Africa