By Desmond Chingarande
ZANU PF youths led by Harare district secretary for transport Nicholas Hamadziripi yesterday unleashed violence, beating up MDC Alliance members, breaking water taps, uprooting fence poles and torching houses belonging to opposition supporters at Retreat Farm, Harare South.
While the Zanu PF youths were running riot, some members of the Zimbabwe National Army were terrorising people at Machipisa, in Harare’s Highfield suburb, allegedly demanding bribes.
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, an MDC Alliance supporter, Terrence Kumbula, said he had escaped from the attacks by the ruling party youths and that his colleagues were not so lucky.
Kumbula said Hamadziripi brought more than 50 youths before attacking his employees for allegedly supporting MDC.
“They came to Retreat Farm in Harare South in four vehicles. They were led by Nicholas Hamadziripi who is the Zanu PF secretary for transport at district level. I saw them from afar and fled from the scene. I went to make a police report.”
He added: “They accused us of being MDC Alliance supporters. The youths became violent and started torching buildings and assaulting people. We have since reported the matter to Waterfalls Police Station under RRB4454384.”
Kumbula said Hamadziripi was accompanied by Tinashe Zwengeya, Elphas Mazvimba and Terrence Magombo, among others.A video of the incident seen by this paper with youth chanting Zanu PF slogans, urging each other to destroy structures, corroborated Kumbula’s narration.
Hamadziripi denied being part of the group that assaulted MDC Alliance members, adding that the destruction of houses by the Zanu PF youths was above board as the place was reserved for railway infrastructure.
“I do not know anything about anyone being assaulted, but from what I know, those people are MDC members and they went on to build their structures in an area that was pegged for a railway line construction,” Hamadziripi said.
“Residents agreed that the area must be reserved, but were surprised when they saw the place was now occupied.” He did not explain why Zanu PF was acting on behalf of the government.
“Kumbula supports MDC Alliance and we want to know why he was given that area when structures belonging to Zanu PF members were destroyed. The destruction is above board.” Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said he was yet to receive the report.
The violence started after acting Zanu PF spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa urged party supporters to beat up protesters on July 31.In an incidents witnessed by NewsDay at Machipisa, an army truck full of armed soldiers and policemen attacked residents and demanded money from their victims.
“At about 2pm on Wednesday the 29th of July 2020, an army truck full of armed soldiers and policemen drove down 63rd Street at Machipisa from the direction of Machipisa Police Station.
Soldiers jumped off the truck and entered our shop. They asked if everything was alright and my staff complied by answering their questions,” the source said.
“Once, the more senior member of the particular trio that entered our shop had left, two junior soldiers started threatening my staff because they had allegedly not sanitised someone who left the shop,” one victim said.
“There was no one in the shop at the time because as soon as the truck pulled up. People along the street ran to their homes. They proceeded to drag my supervisor to the back where they made him lie on the floor.”
The solders went on to assault patrons in a sports betting shop and as well as a bar, covered the identification numbers of their vehicle often displayed at the windscreen with a camouflage cloth while they demanded beer from one proprietor. News Day