SW Radio Africa (London)

18 September 2012

Zimbabwe: New Group Begins Campaign of Terror in Kwekwe

A new militant group has emerged in KweKwe and has been forcibly evicting shop owners in Mbizo from their business premises, taking them over under the guise of youth empowerment.

Calling itself the Alshabab, after the notoriously bloodthirsty Somalian based Islamic terror group, the new outfit claims to promote ZANU PF's controversial indigenization drive. Al-Shabab in East Africa is the Somalia-based cell of the militant Islamist group al-Qaeda.

In its latest monthly report, Crisis in Zimbabwe said the terror group is also targeting industrial sites in the high density suburbs of Mbizo and Amaveni in the town.

According to the report that was released on Monday, 'Alshabab' (the boys or youth in Arabic) is going around inscribing graffiti with the words 'Alshabab youth power - return back our land.'

The KweKwe based 'Alshabab' is commanded by Tapiwa Muto, a ZANU PF youth officer in Mbizo. Last week the group invaded Black Wadada, Pamusimbe, Mbizo 4 and 11 shopping centres, claiming that the market stands in the area were allocated to them by the ZANU PF top leadership. They also claimed their invasion had been authorized by the Kwekwe City Council.

The Crisis report quotes the MDC-T MP for Mbizvo, Settlement Chikwinya, confirming that one of his constituents, Sekai Mangwiro, was also evicted from her hardware shop in and had reported the matter to the police.

This led to the arrest of four members of the terror group, but they were released without charge under the directive of the ZANU PF Midlands youth chairman, Owen Ncube.

Constain Muguti, the MDC-T provincial chairman, told SW Radio Africa that in the last few weeks they've been receiving a number of reports of attacks on against their members by known ZANU PF figures.

'We know ZANU PF is waging a campaign of psychological and terror attacks against our members, from the differences that have emerged from the COPAC stalemate. I can confirm there is tension in the province and as I speak with you now, I'm on my way to visit a critical ill cadre in hospital who was seriously assaulted by ZANU PF activists,' Muguti said.

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