Mbare — BASED Zanu PF youths have confirmed that the notorious Chipangano militia that has terrorised MDC supporters and commuter kombi operators in Harare has the backing of senior party officials.
Despite senior Harare Zanu PF officials disowning the terror group, Chipangano members who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent on condition of anonymity yesterday, said the group has been in existence since 2000 with its major objective being to deal with perceived Zanu PF enemies.
The group's members said former Mbare MP Tendai Savanhu, who lost to Piniel Denga of the MDC-T in 2008, provided the gang with resources to sustain its terror campaigns on behalf of Zanu PF. Savanhu has denied links to Chipangano. Zanu PF Harare youth chairperson Jim Kunaka was in charge of deploying the gang's rank marshals at Harare's commuter ranks although he has also denied such links.
"Kunaka has a say in almost every rank that operates in Harare. A marshal can't operate at a rank without his approval," said one gang member.
There are about 6 000 commuter kombis operating in Harare and rank marshals collect US$1 per trip. Those who don't comply are violently barred from operating from the ranks.