The jailing this week of three ZANU PF members, found guilty in the murder case of an MDC-T supporter more than ten years ago, is being welcomed despite the 'lenient' sentence handed down.
Boy Ndlovu (62), Ben Tshidino Ndou (58) and Ndangano Ndou (53) were on Wednesday convicted of culpable homicide, after denying murder charges. They appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Ndou, who sentenced the three to ten years in jail each.
The three insisted that they had not intended killing Nelson Nare Mudau (68) when they stormed his Beitbridge home in March 2002 and seriously assaulted him. Mudau was a known and active MDC supporter, whose two daughters had acted as polling agents during the presidential vote that year.
Mudau and his daughters were all injured in the attack by the ZANU PF members. Mudau died six days later in hospital. His attackers admitted in court that Mudau was targeted for supporting the MDC, but insisted they did not mean to kill him.
SW Radio Africa's Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme said the sentencing on Wednesday has been welcomed by members of the MDC. But he said many observers believe the ten year jail term handed down is too lenient.
"This is one of many cases these guys are involved in. They are known for perpetrating violence in Beitbridge over the last ten years," Saungweme said.
A fourth ZANU PF member, who has also been accused in the same case, is standing trial separately and his case continues.
Saungweme meanwhile said there was more good news for MDC-T supporters in Bulawayo on Friday, with the arrival of Youth Assembly chairman Solomon Madzore. Madzore was last week released from Chikurubi prison on bail, more than a year after being arrested in connection with the death of a policeman in Glen View last May.
"Madzore has come to see his supporters so there is a get together and a celebration tonight (Friday). So there is a very happy mood here," Saungweme said.