By Lance Guma
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HARARE – Certified Zanu PF thug Jim Kunaka who leads the notorious Chipangano gang was last week summoned to court after beating up one of his three wives at Mbare Musika terminus in full view of travelling commuters.
Kunaka who wants to be a Zanu PF MP in Mbare did not even bother to show up at the Harare Civil Court after wife Loveness Sithole had him arraigned while she sought a protection order. In her testimony she said Kunaka was in the habit of bashing her each time he visits.
Loveness revealed that the gang leader visits her once or twice per month at her place of residence in Waterfalls. She has had enough of the abuse and now wants the court to bar Kunaka from visiting and refrain from threatening her.
“I am one of his three wives but I want him to be barred from visiting my place. He is in the habit of bashing me each time he comes to my place. At one point in time he thrashed me at Mbare Musika rank after I have approached him in bid to talk to him over our affair,” she said.
Loveness also told the court that she had tried to divorce Kunaka but he kept on forcing himself on her. Asked by magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti whether she had given him a token of divorce or not Loveness said:
“I have once tried to engage his relatives but nothing materialised. I am yet to give him a token of divorce. I will be more comfortable if he stays away from my place or from me.”
Loveness also told the court that Kunaka has since dumped his other wives to cohabit with his mistress.
Strangely the magistrate failed to bar Kunaka from Loveness’s home claiming they were still husband and wife. But the court, in Kunaka’s absence ordered him to refrain from threatening her and being violent towards her.
Kunaka leads the Chipangano gang, a shadowy group of violent militia youths who are fiercely loyal to Zanu PF and behind what many have described as the “progressive militarisation and zanuisation of public facilities”.
Over the years the youths hid under the Zanu PF ‘empowerment’ agenda to ‘access resources illegally’ and raked in over US$30,000 per day by charging ‘ranking fees’ at bus terminuses in central Harare and other parts of the city.
They also took over several council markets like Siyaso and Mupedzanhamo, charging vendors extortionate amounts in fees.
Chipangano also took over a council building, Carter House, in Mbare, and the council was threatened into silence over the matter. The building was even turned into a terror base for the group.
Underlying their impunity, in 2011, the youths rampaged through Town House, in full view of police officers, and beat up council employees. The same mob invaded Parliament, beating up MP’s and journalists, but no arrests were made.