Home » Governance » 18 Injured As Zanu-PF, MDC-T Clash in Epworth

AT least 16 Zanu-PF supporters in Epworth suffered multiple injuries on Sunday afternoon when they were brutally assaulted by MDC-T supporters attending a rally addressed by their leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai. Further, police say 10 houses were damaged in the attacks. The MDC-T supporters were armed with golf clubs, bricks and stones and indiscriminately attacked anyone they believed belonged to Zanu-PF regardless of age and gender.

Two MDC-T supporters were injured when their victims retaliated.

The incident occurred at around 4pm when the mob left the rally and started seeking out Zanu-PF supporters in the sprawling settlement on Harare’s outskirts.

National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said their information showed 11 Zanu-PF supporters were injured, but The Herald spoke to 16 victims who all gave similar versions of the attack.

These are Joseph Bwezani, Brighton Chiota (32), Concilia Vherende (45), Juliet Mudzamiri (26), Cecilia Mugumura (34), Moreen Chintokoma (32), Edmore Makana (26), and Norris Chokupfekedza (16). Others are Tarwirei Phiri (38), Itai Marume (28), Simon Marowa (21), Takudzwa Katsande (22), Clayton Mutepaire (28), Francis Chiyendeyende (57), Christopher Mutepaire and Christopher Njaravani (32).

Seven of them received treatment at Epworth Polyclinic, while seven others were admitted to Harare Central Hospital.

Two others were still awaiting police reports to receive treatment at Government health institutions yesterday.

They all sustained serious head injuries and bruises all over their bodies.

Zanu-PF chairman for Tembwe District in Epworth, Cde Japhet Chiromo, said: “The MDC-T supporters first provoked us by sending three of their youths to some tuckshops that are near our offices wearing their regalia.

“This happened when they were still conducting their rally at an open space near Epworth Local Board offices.”

Cde Chiromo said MDC-T initially said its rally would be in Domboramwari but suddenly shifted to an area near the Local Board and close to Zanu-PF’s offices.

“After their rally some of the supporters boarded a lorry while others walked on foot towards our offices. We then mobilised ourselves in order to block them and they made a U-turn,” Cde Chiromo said.

He said the MDC-T supporters ignored the presence of police officers and scaled over security walls at a clinic and the Local Board premises, and thenceforth to houses that they stoned as they attacked people.

Cde Chriomo said at this point police fired smoke canisters to disperse the mob.

He said during the attack, 16 Zanu-PF supporters were injured, and 10 houses had windows and doors broken, while a few walls were pulled down.

In an interview yesterday, Mr Tsvangirai said 14 of his supporters were injured and he visited two women at Avenues Clinic in Harare.

“I visited these two patients, Mai Motsi and Mai Muzuva who were victims of yesterday’s (Sunday) post-rally attack by Zanu-PF. I understand there were 14 people who were also injured as a result of it. Of course this happened when I had already left,” he said.

Mr Tsvangirai claimed Epworth legislator, Cde Amos Midzi, instigated the violence.

“You have an MP there who is prone to violence. (Cde) Amos Midzi the godfather of Chipangano and other Zanu-PF thugs. What is important to emphasise is that when Zanu-PF sees people on the roll they always resort to the default mode. The default mode of violence and intimidation,” he alleged.

Cde Midzi dismissed the allegations as “the last kicks of a dying horse”.

“The first thing is that I was not even aware of their meeting. I only learnt about it last night at around 7.30pm when I got a call that our supporters who needed assistance at Harare Central Hospital. The whole afternoon I was attending the Zanu-PF Harare provincial Women’s League conference,” he said.

“It will not make sense to engage in violence with a party that is dying. Whatever Tsvangirai is saying, they are utterances from the last kicks of a dying horse. He should concentrate on putting out the internal fires in his house and must must not put the blame on Zanu-PF,” he said.

Chief Sup Nyathi said three MDC-T supporters had been arrested in connection with the violence.

They are Moses Chindanga (26), Kholwani Makina (29) and Alex Makina (33).

“The ZRP would like to confirm acts of violence which have been perpetrated by MDC-T supporters on Zanu-PF supporters who were at their homes in Epworth on May 4, 2014.

“This follows an incident where an MDC-T supporter, Munyaradzi Chibanda (32) who was at the MDC-T rally addressed by Morgan Tsvangirai, jumped over the Epworth Local Board durawall and went to Bela Pesi Farm while dressed in his party regalia,” Chief Sup Nyathi said.

He said Chibanda told his colleagues he had been assaulted by unknown people.

Chief Sup Nyathi said MDC-T youths then mobilised and started to “indiscriminately assault” Zanu-PF supporters at their homes.

“In the process, 11 Zanu-PF supporters were injured while seven houses were damaged. Police would like to warn all malcontents who are bent on instigating violence that they will face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

Mr Tsvangirai’s associates have been known to use violence against their opponents, including within MDC-T itself, a development that has virtually split the main opposition party for the second time since its launch in September 1999.

Source : The Herald