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30 people displaced as Zanu PF violence mounts in Gutu District

Political violence rocking Gutu District and perpetrated by Zanu PF youth ahead of the 2023 general elections is creating a humanitarian crisis by the day with more than 30 families running away from home and workplaces, Lloyd Mupfudze, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) district elections officer has said.

He appealed to well-wishers for food and shelter for the victims of the violence adding that the situation was growing into a humanitarian crisis.

Officer Commanding Masvingo East, Superintendent Taurai Mambure was forced to call an urgent all-parties meeting on Wednesday to discuss the issue of violence.

He barred The Mirror from the meeting and refused to give a statement after the more than 4 hours’ deliberations.

Efforts to get a comment from Lovemore Matuke who is not only Zanu PF secretary for security in the politburo but the most senior party politician in the district and a Senator were futile as he did not pick his phone.

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Mufudze availed to The Mirror a list of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activists who deserted their homes at Mpandawana and surrounding areas either after being attacked or receiving death threats.

“There is a crisis. Families that have run away from their homes don’t have shelter and food. Others have lost sources of income after being pushed out of their workplaces. These victims and their children need to eat and a place to sleep but we have no means to help.

“Many people are sleeping in the bush for fear of being attacked at night. The majority of the victims are residents of Mpandawana while others stay on the outskirts of the growth point.

“Many people have moved together with their children out of the district to Harare and other places. There is well organised and funded violence in the district and Police is not arresting anyone to the extent that some people are assaulted at Police stations and in front of senior officers.

“The godfathers of the violence are known and they openly brag about it. Gangs of hired thugs move in groups in broad daylight armed with banned weapons like catapults, knobkerries, stones and machetes. They choose their victims randomly and they abduct, assault men and women in public,” said Mupfudze.

Four Makumbe brothers Tom, Kudakwashe, Nhamo and Jervas were severely assaulted, thrown into sewerage and their phones crashed. They have a welding company at Mpandawana Growth Point but they closed shop and disappeared.

CCC councilor, Bernard Chimwango’s wife, Blessing Chiriga was assaulted this week at the main bus rank. She and her children have left the district for fear of further attacks. Chimwango is also no longer staying at his house which is at Mpandawana.

Many CCC activists no longer visit Mpandawana or wear yellow clothes in the business center as this has attracted attacks.

The ringleader in the attack has been identified as Josephat Sarukore who is the Zanu PF District chair. Sarukore’s brothers Tawanda and Samson have also been fingered while Joseph Mudziwepasi, a son of a businessman in the growth point has openly confirmed his role in the violence.

Last November, the same Zanu PF gangs attacked and killed Nyasha Zhambe from Chief Mawere’s when they stopped a vehicle in which he was travelling in after setting up an illegal roadblock.

The suspects were all positively identified through videos and other means but the case died a natural death after Police swept it under the carpet. Masvingo Mirror

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