21 August 2018

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Activists Attacked in Mozambique

Photo: The East African
A map of Mozambique.

MDC-T activists -- Ernest Joseph and Lloyd Kaswa -- who settled in Mozambique and changed their citizenship in 2008, had their "houses" burnt by Mozambicans after they returned to participate in Zimbabwe's July 30 harmonised elections as MDC-Alliance polling agents.

The Mozambicans were irked by the fact that the two falsified their nationality and participated unlawfully in their national elections on the side of the opposition.

The Mozambicans burnt shacks built by the two on Mozambican soil.

Despite that this happened in Mozambique, involving Mozambicans, the incident had now been exploited by MDC-Alliance and some non-governmental organisations to portray it as a case of post-election political violence in Zimbabwe.

MDC-Alliance and its hangers-on are deliberately misrepresenting facts on the matter with a view to eliciting sympathy from Western embassies and discredit the entire electoral process, it has emerged.

Sources intimated that the motive behind the nefarious shenanigans was also to push for a Government of National Unity via the back door and to hoodwink donors to bankroll the struggling NGOs.

NGOs have reached out to the two activists and they have been adopted by Heal Zimbabwe, which subsequently housed them at a so-called safe house in Hatfield, Harare.

Facts on the ground verified by The Herald are that the two migrated to Mozambique in 2008 and obtained Mozambican identity cards which allowed them to participate in elections in that country in subsequent years.

For unknown reasons, the two returned to Zimbabwe this year and participated in the July 30 harmonised elections as MDC-Alliance polling agents.

After the elections, they went back to Mozambique where they were questioned by the Mozambicans as to why they participated in Zimbabwe's elections, yet they had Mozambican citizenship.

An altercation ensued between the two and their Mozambican counterparts and after heated exchanges, the Mozambicans torched their huts.

It is also understood that Kaswa had his belongings cast into Mukumbura River and after realising that the situation was untenable in Mozambique the two returned to Zimbabwe.

They sought refuge at the homestead of Kaswa's brother, who is an MDC-T district chairman in Muzarabani.

After information of alleged political violence in Muzarabani filtered, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission dispatched two of its officials, Patience Ndlovu and Tinashe Makuyana, to investigate the matter.

A source familiar with the goings-on last night said: "Two Human Rights Commission officials - Patience Ndlovu and Tinashe Makuyana - visited MDC-T provincial assembly secretary for healing and reconciliation, Freddy Matonhodze, at his homestead in Hoya, Muzarabani North constituency, on August 17, 2018.

"The two officials who were on a fact-finding mission wanted Mr Matonhodze to accompany them to the homestead of an MDC-T activist Ernest Joseph, which was allegedly burnt on 12 August 2018. The officials could not proceed as they were told that the said homestead was in Mariyahanda Village in Mozambique.

"Mr Matonhodze revealed that Joseph and another MDC-T activist, Lloyd Mudimu Kaswa, were chased from their village by Mozambican nationals for participating as Alliance polling agents in Zimbabwe, yet they had Mozambican citizenship. Mr Matonhodze hinted that Joseph's house was burnt by Mozambican nationals just after the July 30 harmonised elections. He added that Joseph and Kaswa were taken by Heal Zimbabwe Trust to safe houses in Hatifield, Harare, on 13 August 2018."

The Herald is reliably informed that MDC-Alliance losing candidate for Muzarabani North, Mr Agreement Kagura, was the one who facilitated the relocation of Joseph and Kaswa to the so-called safe houses in Harare, purportedly as victims of political violence.

In a related development, another source said: "Two Canadian nationals - Sonia Mickevicius and Moise Lokasanpon - who are long-term observers also visited Mr Matonhodze on August 17, 2018.

"The two were accompanied MDC-T Muzarabani North district chairman Mr Itai Chamburuka and they revealed that their visit was in response to a WhatsApp message to the effect that four houses, a grinding mill and a motorbike belonging to opposition members were burnt by Zanu-PF members.

"Mr Matonhodze, however, reiterated that Joseph and Kaswa's homesteads were in Mozambique and that they had since been taken to safe houses in Harare.

"From the look of things, it is clear that the real effort of MDC-Alliance and its NGO sympathisers is to deliberately paint a grim picture about the so-called political situation in the country. They are trying to draw some political benefits from such misrepresentation of facts."

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