8 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Tuesday, 08 January 2013 - Issue 495

press release

Two MDC Youth Assembly members in Chivi Central, Masvingo province spent New Year's Day behind bars after a Zanu PF thug made a fabricated police report accusing them of possessing firearms and threatening to torch his homestead.

The two MDC youths Obvious Chigwende and Upenyu Mandizvidza of Dombo village 6 Chivi Central Constituency were at Riverside Business Centre on New Year's Day where they were discussing the state of political affairs in the country when they met one Carious Chidhiya, a member of the Zanu PF militia.

Chidhiya accused the two of being political sell-outs and threatened them with unspecified action come election time.

Political analysts have warned that the latest incidents of political harassment could be a clear indication that the state and Zanu PF machinery will be unleashed to subvert the will of the people in the next elections.

"We were at Riverside Business Centre with our friends when we met Chidhiya who accused us of being sell-outs. He also said he would deal with us in a stern way come election time. We told him the MDC is a non-violent party and that the party was going to win resoundingly in the next elections to be held this year," said Mandizvidza.

"We also told him that Zanu PF is now ideologically bankrupt and that the former ruling party is no longer popular with the electorate. This apparently angered him and he accused us of being political puppets. He then made a fabricated police report claiming we produced fire arms and threatened to torch his homestead. He also claimed we were carrying out clandestine military training in South Africa in order to perpetrate violence against Zanu PF," said Chigwende.

On the same day the two MDC members were surprised when seven armed police officers confronted them. "They intimidated us and we were taken to Chivi Police Station where they detained us for two nights. The police accused us of insulting Mugabe, of banditry and trying to topple the Zanu PF leader from power," they said.

The two were on Monday handed over to the police Law and Order Section in Masvingo where they were charged with improper conduct and undermining the authority of the President and were fined US$20 dollars each.

In Hurungwe West, Mashonaland West Province, reports filtering in are that over 400 families' resident in ward 7 face eviction for allegedly staying in an illegal settlement.

According to sources from Hurungwe, the Karoi Town Council received names from village heads of people ostensibly living illegally in that ward despite others having stayed there for over 25 years. It is alleged that the evictions are politically motivated as the ward voted into council an MDC councillor who has since passed away.

However the MDC supporters reaffirmed their unbridled resolve to complete the change saying Zanu PF's intimidatory tactics and harassment will not subdue them.

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