Political Violence


One insurance company is now offering cover against political violence, although premiums have yet to be announced. The Insurance and Pensions Commission recently granted Champions Insurance Company the nod to introduce the insurance cover. There was no insurance cover in Zimbabwe for loss of property as a result of political violence, even if the property was insured under the assets cover.

Champions Insurance underwriting and business development manager Ms Immaculate Musonza said last week that cover was for financial loss arising out of politically related actions.

“We are the only Zimbabwean cover holder for all political violence risk representing Lloyd’s in Zimbabwe and this cover is for areas that are not catered for by the assets insurance,” said Ms Musonza.

“The cover protects against losses by war, riots, civil disturbance, terrorism and looting.

“It means that any properties damaged as a result of those actions will be insured.

“The fact that our reinsurers have accepted to have this cover in Zimbabwe is actually a statement that Zimbabwe is not a high political risk because obviously no insurance company would want to invest in a country where the risk is high,” she said.

Ms Musonza said the adoption of the cover would also attract foreign investment since businesses would be insured in case of any eventualities.

“Political violence here can be managed because our police are quick to react, but there is still need to insure properties because riots can start anytime,” she said.

Ms Musonza said her company partners Lloyd’s of London and Mapfre Assistencia of Spain in insuring against damages caused by politically motivated violence.

She said Champions Insurance reached an agreement with Lloyd’s syndicates who would share Zimbabwe’s risk with Watkins, Canopius, Ironshore, Hiscox, Hardy and Channel Syndicate.

Ms Musonza said IPEC recently approved the cover that caters for immovable property, plant and machinery and vehicles.

Zimbabwe became the 23rd African country to adopt the policy, with regional countries South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Madagascar and Mozambique already offering it.

Ms Musonza said the cover targeted corporates, while individuals were also welcome as long as they proved that the property was theirs.

Politically motivated arson attacks became a common feature in Zimbabwe over the past few years.

This led to serious losses after buildings and properties were burnt down.

MDC-T youths were implicated in various politically motivated petrol bombings that targeted individuals’ houses and police stations ahead of the March 2008 harmonised elections

Early this year, suspected MDC-T activists allegedly petrol bombed the Zanu-PF provincial offices in Gweru, shattering windowpanes.

Timber worth more than US$600 000 was also burnt down at Zanu-PF’s Joshua Nkomo district offices in Matapi in Mbare in a suspected arson attack by MDC-T activists.

There were also suspected arson attacks at Masvingo and Chiredzi Magistrates’ courts that left court records and office property destroyed.

Property worth thousands of dollars was looted last year in Harare at Gulf Complex after some youths went on a rampage targeting foreign-owned shops.

(Source)

Violence Continues Against MDC

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai‘s MDC reports that ZANU-PF and the security forces are continuing and intensifying a campaign of violence and intimidation against its members. MDC political rallies have been disrupted by police. ZANU-PF militants went on the rampage in Highlands, damaging property and injuring MDC members. Robert Mugabe, who is 88 years old, has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since Independence in 1980. Mugabe is pushing for early elections without the constitutional safeguards and electoral reform demanded by the Movement for Democratic Change. Mugabe is wanting yet another five-year term as president. Despite having lost a number of presidential elections, he continues to remain in power.

Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, has blamed the economic troubles of Zimbabwe on the governments’ refusal to direct revenue from the lucrative Marange diamond fields to the public treasury. The ZANU-PF controlled Fifth brigade and presidential guard seized control of the Marange diamond fields in Eastern Zimbabwe, Manica Highlands, in 2009. Horror stories of atrocities, murders, slave labour and channelling of vast quantities of Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds to China in exchange for weapons, have not stopped the Zimbabwe government from being able to sell these diamonds abroad. Yet, the Minster of Finance reports that the Treasury is bankrupt and the revenue that should have been raised by the Marange diamond fields has simply disappeared into the private pockets of Mugabe and his ZANU-PF politburo.

Campaign to Seize Businesses from Indians

The Indigenisation and Youth Development Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, has instructed ZANU-PF youth to seize shops, supermarkets and businesses owned by Indians as part of their Youth Empowerment Programme. Kasukuwere declared that Indians should not be allowed to run shops in Zimbabwe while there are unemployed black youth. In the 1970s, dictator, Idi Amin forced all Indians out of Uganda and seized their businesses. This precipitated the total economic collapse of Uganda.

State Sponsored Torture and Terror

Amnesty International have compiled dossiers from eye-witness accounts of systematic political violence, assaults, beatings, rape and torture by ZANU-PF controlled security forces in Zimbabwe. Amnesty International has the names of at least 600 people who have died in State sponsored violence in Zimbabwe.

Western Bankrolling of African Dictators Under Investigation

Members of Parliament at Westminster are asking British firms to explain how UK taxes could have been used to help dictators build arsenals to suppress dissent and oppress their populations. An official all-party enquiry, into the government Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) underwriting these loans, has begun calling witnesses. The parliamentary group is investigating more than 40 years of British involvement in supporting dubious regimes overseas. Among the items on the agenda is to ask why 35 Million Pounds was lent to Zimbabwe to buy 5 Hawk fighter jets from BAE systems and how over 1,000 land rovers could have been provided to the Zimbabwe police who have been guilty of systematic human rights abuses amongst the population of Zimbabwe. The oil company, BP, and multinational defence corporation, BAE Systems, will be asked to account for why hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers money was used to help military dictatorships facilitate environmental and human rights abuses across Africa.

(Source: by email)

The MDC T had a planned rally at Chimukoko in Ward 3 in Mudzi on 26 May 2012. According to one of the organisers who narrated the events, the rally was sanctioned by the police. On the day of the rally the organisers began to ferry party members to the venue in a truck at about 0900hrs. The first load consisted of women and children. On the way to the venue, at Nyamhondoro Primary School. the MDC members found the road barricaded and blocked with logs by ZanuPF supporters who wanted to attack them. The MDC supporters were let through when it was realised that there were women and children. The organisers of the rally informed the police of this incident. The second load of passengers again found the same barricades and removed them and proceeded to the venue.

On arrival at the venue the MDC supporters began singing and setting up for the rally. The MDC supporters noticed a second group gathering nearby. They identified this new group as ZanuPF supporters who were chanting anti MDC T President Tsvangirai slogans and singing. The group started at about 20 to 30 individuals but gradually swelled to about 300 as opposed to the about 70 MDC supporters. Police officers from the Police Internal Security and Intelligence section were in attendance. The MDC organisers approached the officers about the ZanuPF behaviour who called one of the ZanuPF leaders, David Chimukoko. When the police told him that he was disturbing a legal gathering sanctioned by them he replied that the police should also have told him about the planned gathering and vowed to continue with his own gathering. Apparently powerless, the police withdrew.

Soon after the ZanuPF crowd brought out drums and the din from their gathering increased as their numbers swelled more. The MDC leaders decided that they could not proceed with their rally and to evacuate the women, children and elderly from the site for fear that the situation would deteriorate. They proceeded to do this. As they left with women and children and some of the elderly the remaining group was attacked by the ZanuPF supporters. Most of the able MDC supporter fled but some, especially the older ones could not run and were beaten severely by the ZanuPF supporters.

The MDC leaders then went to the police station at Mudzi where they approached Constable Kachidza who was openly hostile and uncooperative when they pleaded with him to dispatch uniformed and possibly armed police officers to protect the victims. For an hour they tried to get him to help but the constable refused even when offered transport to ferry the officers to the scene.

The MDC leaders returned to the venue. On the way they met the rest of their members who had been injured at the venue and were informed that 5 people were still unaccounted for and that there were fears for the condition of Cephas Magura the Ward 1 MDC chairperson who may have been severely injured. Eventually the 4 were recovered but it was learnt that Mr. Magura  (67) had died in the attack.

The MDC leaders went back to the police station and as they approached the station they saw Newton Kachepa, the ZanuPF MP for the area leaving the post.

They reported the death and offered transport to the scene for the police and suddenly police transport was available where it was not before and police were willing to take up the transport offer.

Survivors examined and treated in Harare narrated how MP Kachepa had been seen a few metres from the scene of the attack apparently giving instructions and coordinating the ZanuPF activities. He was later seen transporting the youthful attackers from the scene. The attackers were identified by the victims as youth from Vhombozi and Banganya areas and not local.

Other named perpetrators include Arthur Mutodi, Sizler Kwenda, Amos Rwafa and one Tawanda. The above named perpetrators drove Kachepa’s vehicle on Saturday to Mudzi when they heard that the MDC meeting was going to be held.  Amos Rwafa is based at 1 Commando Cranborne and is from the same village as Newton Kachepa.

7 victims were treated in Harare. 3 were admitted in hospital under specialist care and 4 are convalescing under observations at the treatment centre. One victim died at the scene.

Post Mortem results reflect multiple blows with blunt object to body and head, with intra-cranial haemorrhage.

(Source)

POLICE have arrested Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s security officer and two MDC-T supporters for allegedly assaulting a police officer and a Zanu-PF supporter at a rally in Kambuzuma on Sunday.

The three have been identified as Ambitious Muzuva (36) of Kambuzuma Section 3 who is employed as security officer for the PM, Passmore Jaricha (28) of Epworth and Lovemore Chimbangu (19) of Kuwadzana 1.

They are detained at Warren Park Police Station while investigations are underway.

Police yesterday dismissed reports by some sections of the media that they disrupted the MDC-T rally in Kambuzuma as misleading.

Harare provincial spokesperson Inspector James Sabau said the attack on the police officer was premeditated.

“MDC-T Harare provincial organising secretary youth wing told people gathered at the rally that they were going to deal with police officers at the venue,” he said.

“A commuter omnibus was stopped by MDC-T youths at around 1410hrs.

“The conductor, Gerald Mandaza (23) chanted a Zanu-PF slogan and this infuriated MDC-T supporters and one of them stabbed him with a sharp object on the left shoulder.”

MDC-T youths went on to deflate the commuter omnibus’ front right tyre.

“Mandaza was rushed to Parirenyatwa for medical attention and he is reportedly in a stable condition,” said Insp Sabau.

“Twenty minutes later, four MDC-T youths approached a police officer who was monitoring the rally.

“One of the youths recognised him and asked what he was doing at their meeting.

“The four manhandled and dragged him for about 500 metres away from the meeting.”

The police officer was taken to a footbridge between Kambuzuma 2 and 3 where more youths emerged from a nearby maize field armed with knobkerries, stones and knives.

The youths punched and kicked the police officer and took away his Nokia E300 cellphone before he escaped with minor injuries.

Warren Park police officers were later called to the meeting with a back-up team and after the three suspects were arrested the rally continued.

(Source)

A group of about 50 ZANU PF thugs were reported to have set up a temporary base just meters from the house of an MDC-T official in Mudzi West constituency last Friday.

They then stoned and destroyed the house in the early hours of the morning. Fortunately the officials wife and children had already left, after sensing danger.

A statement by the MDC-T said Goodwell Mazarura, the MDC-T Information and Publicity Secretary for Mudzi West, was “visibly shaken” as he described how the thugs sang revolutionary songs and chanted party slogans while stoning the house.

Officials from the MDC-T in Manicaland have continued to face a violent campaign by ZANU PF sponsored thugs, who are burning and destroying houses, assaulting or illegally evicting families, with the support of soldiers and the police.

Mazarura has remained active in the MDC despite being a target for years now. His house was burnt down back in 2006 by three ZANU PF thugs who were later prosecuted. The latest attack is believed to be retribution for this.

Julius Magaramombe, the MDC-T provincial Chairman, explained that Manicaland is a target because many senior officials within ZANU PF lost their parliamentary seats to MDC candidates in the province, during the 2008 elections.

Magaramombe told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the list includes ZANU PF chefs Patrick Chinamasa, Joseph Made and Oppah Muchinguri, all of whom are desperately hoping to get their positions back, using fear tactics.

“Asi vanhu vave kuziya hapana zviripo”, Magaramombe said, meaning “people now know there is nothing left” that ZANU PF can offer. The party has resorted to using violence and intimidation to get support and they are not getting results.

According to the MDC-T official, the voters know if they do not go to ZANU PF rallies and pretend to be members they will be victimized, but there is no real support for ZANU PF.

As for the role of the police and soldiers, Magaramombe said they protect the thugs from prosecution and at times take part in violent acts because they too are being threatened by top officials and would be victimized if they refuse to obey orders.

This partisan role played by the military, police and intelligence divisions has emerged as the most critical issue blocking the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement and any hope of credible elections in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, there are reports that a torture base has been re-established at Chimango business centre, run by soldiers from the 22 Infantry Battalion. According to the MDC-T the soldiers have teamed up with ZANU PF thugs and are “unleashing violence against all perceived MDC supporters in the area”.

The MDC-T also reported that members of the violent ZANU PF sponsored Chipangano gang addressed a meeting in Mutoko East where the ZANU PF district chairperson, Ingidzai Kapondoro, encouraged party youths to beat up MDC supporters in the area.

The same group of violent youths, led by Ruddy Ndoro, disrupted a peaceful MDC-T meeting in ward 26 Murehwa West later that same day. A statement by the MDC-T said the district chairman suffered serious head injuries after the gang assaulted participants, but he was too scared to seek medical treatment at St Paul’s Mission Hospital nearby because ZANU PF youth informers are employed there.

(Source)

The notorious Marondera-based CIO operative, Zininga, has warned villagers against welcoming MDC-T Member of Parliament Marondera Central, Iain Kay, to the area while protecting the fraudulent ‘land redistribution’ activities organised by his brother in law, Muzondiwa Muponda.

Last Wednesday, Zininga, a new farmer at Watara Farm, warned villagers and farmers against resisting an illegal land redistribution exercise being carried out by Muponda and Francis Mutengeni.

“Zininga told us to keep quiet as his brother-in-law sells pieces of grazing land to desperate landless people. They are selling a hectare of land for US$250 without the authority of the controversial government land redistribution offices,” said a villager.

Zininga also reportedly threatened patrons at a village beer outlet following a visit by Kay to the area.

“What does the white man want here? Who invited him here? Next time Kay sets his foot at the farm known MDC supporters will pay the price,” said Zininga.

(Source)

Fear has gripped villagers in the Siakobvu area in the Kariba Basin in Mashonaland West following threats by ZANU PF militia to chase away MDC-T members from the area in retaliation to alleged attacks on Chief Mola’s home by unknown arsonists.

The province is predominantly a ZANU PF stronghold.

ZANU PF youths have unleashed a reign of terror in the area targeting MDC-T supporters whom they accuse of burning down the chief’s bedroom hut on April 9.

Police in Chinhoyi confirmed the attack on the chief’s home and said they were still investigating.

According to the police, a group of unknown arsonists stormed Chief Mola’s homestead at around 4am and torched his bedroom hut while the traditional leader was asleep.

Chief Mola, a known ZANU PF supporter, allegedly lost his traditional gear and other property in the inferno, but he escaped unscathed.Villagers who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were now living in fear of a group of known ZANU PF youths who were reportedly on a rampage in the area beating up known and perceived MDC-T activists and sympathisers.

“The youths have been going from village-to-village beating and intimidating people with the hope of getting a confession from one of us,” said a distraught villager last week.

“They want to know who set the hut on fire. They have vowed to continue with the exercise until they find the perpetrators,” said the villager.

Narrating the incident, Chief Mola, whose real name is Champion Rare, said: “That day I was awoken by neighbours shouting outside my bedroom hut. I got out and was shocked to see I was almost engulfed by fire. I was lucky to escape unhurt.

“This was a clear act of political violence and sabotage perpetrated by ZANU PF detractors,” said the chief. He said he had recently received blankets, clothes, foodstuffs and other wares donated by the ZANU PF provincial leadership.

Following the burning of the hut, which was the only structure at the homestead, Chief Mola has been living in a makeshift structure made of pole and dagga.

On our visit to the chief’s homestead this week, the only modern item of property there was a Mazda B1800 vehicle which he received from government in 2008 as part of his benefits.

(Source)

Four MDC activists from Chikomba District in Mashonaland East Province, Anna Peresu, Timothy Mugari, Remita Motiwa and Taruvinga, were kidnapped by ZANU PF youth militia on Sunday at Mbare Musika, Harare and their whereabouts remain unknown.

The four were travelling to Chikomba after attending the MDC Third National Congress in Bulawayo.  A report was made at Mbare but no action has been taken by the police. Many MDC activists on Sunday were assaulted by ZANU PF terror gang known as Chipangano, in Mbare and their regalia were confiscated.

(Source)

Secret footage of continuous violence and intimidation against MDC supporters in Manicaland and some parts of Zimbabwe will be shown next month, film producers have said.

There have been increasing cases of violence in Manicaland province perpetrated by top Zanu (PF) officials with Nyanga,

Chimanimani and Buhera being the hardest hit areas. In an interview with The Zimbabwean last week the director of the film, who requested anonymity for fear of victimization, said: “We have been shooting footage of the harassment of the MDC supporters and we want to show the whole world the true picture of what is happening in the country particularly the recent Nyanga, Buhera and Chimanimani violence. It is horrible.

“We will show evidence of how Mugabe’s regime has been harassing MDC-T supporters and how the police and judiciary system have been inept. We have harrowing images of how the supporters were beaten. We will also include how they destroyed everything owned by the white farmers and how they looted their property as well. I cannot divulge more information on the film, but it will be out very soon,” he said.

In Nyanga North former army Colonel Hubert Nyanhongo is masterminding violence with the help of overzealous Zanu (PF) militia and war veterans who want to wrestle the parliamentary seat from Douglas Mwonzora of MDC-T. In Chimanimani West and East constituencies Zanu (PF)’s Munacho Mutezo, Monica Mutsvangwa, Janet Knight and Samuel Udenge are wreaking havoc on MDC-T supporters.

In Buhera, Joseph Chinotimba, Wiliam Mutomba and Morgan Mzilikazi a notorious army Colonel are masterminding terror assaults and intimidation on MDC-T supporters. The Buhera violence is worsened by the fact that it is the home area of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who has given President Robert Mugabe political headaches, after he (Tsvangirai) beat Mugabe in the Presidential election in March 2008.

Of late CIO operatives have been seen moving around the area monitoring MDC-T’s election campaign activities. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently said the fresh spate of land seizures and threats on commercial white farmers were caused by “wild behaviour” and motivated by theft.

“Such actions must be condemned and Zimbabweans must decide what type of society they want to live in. Greed is driving the elements of resistance to invade productive land,” said Prime Minister Tsvangirai. He added: “Unless you are motivated by theft, how do you go in the middle of the agricultural season to start replacing farmers and disrupting their operations? At the end of the day you might think that you are disrupting a farmer, but you are actually disrupting the capacity of the country to earn the much required income.”

(Source)

Zanu (PF) youth militias ran riot in Chitungwiza beating up people and revellers at Makoni Shopping Centre accusing them of ignoring President Robert Mugabe’s birthday celebrations held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) held last Saturday.

Other victims of the attacks were vendors, shoppers and shop owners at the town’s largest shopping centre.

The youths dressed in 21 st February Movement T-Shirts beat Tinashe Mawoyo together with scores of other people who were drinking at Dande Bar at the weekend.

“They were eight of them and they beat me up because I was not wearing a Zanu (PF) T-shirt. They accused me of being an MDC-T supporter and I had to run for my life,” said Mawoyo.

A woman who did not want to be named said: “The Zanu (PF) youths were drunk and my husband was very lucky to escape unharmed since he is visibly sick. They had to let him go after one of the youths begged the others to live him since he was sick.”

Chitungwiza has been gripped with sporadic cases of political violence. In Unit O in Seke, Zanu (PF) supporters have been forcing residents to buy party cards for US$2.

The people are also being forced to attend party meetings by a Zanu (PF) leader in the area identified as Makonese. The Zanu PF leader is accused by the residents of being behind the wave of terror in the area.

Over the weekend Makonese told residents that they should all travel to Harare and sign an anti-sanctions petition at the national launch at Harare Show Grounds.

President Mugabe is billed to officiate at the launch of the campaign where Zanu (PF) is expecting a massive crowd in protest of the West imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his allies.

The old Harare Suburb of Mbare has been the worst hit as more cases of political violence have been reported. Residents in the suburb are no longer playing parties or engaging in family social gathering as Zanu (PF) youths disrupt them interrogating them on why they are enjoying themselves.

(Source)