By Godfrey Mtimba.
Political violence reared its ugly head again after suspected Zanu PF hooligans and members of the state security service unleashed terror and assaulted suspected Triple C members in Gutu over the weekend, as 2023 watershed General Elections draw closer.
Suspected members of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organization based at Mpandawana growth point accompanied by suspected ruling party members moved around business centers closing shops suspected to be owned by CCC supporters before assaulting them.
CCC members in Gutu reported that their supporters who own shops at Chisheche, Mushwayi and Chin’ombe business Centers were terrorized by the militias moving around in an unregistered NP300 open truck vehicle.
One of the victims of the terror attacks, Patikai Muzondo said he was severely assaulted and had his clothes burnt before he was handed over a Zanu PF party T/ shirt to wear.
“There were six men who disembarked from their unregistered vehicle and got into my shop. They bellowed my name asking where I was and I answered. They accused me of being a sell out by supporting CCC so they ordered me to lay down on my stomach and they took turns to assault me using logs,” said Muzondo.
Another lady shop owner at Chin’ombe business Centre who declined to be mentioned for fear of further victimization said they assaulted her before they poured and soaked her with opaque beer all over her body.
“They pounced on me in my shop and accused me of supporting the opposition and they grabbed some scuds from my bottle store and poured them all over my body after a beating and they sped off,” she said
She said she was left traumatized by the attack by the unidentified men.
However some two guys believed to be working for the President’s Offices at Mpandawana growth point were only identified as T1 and Tarupiwa.
CCC Masvingo Provincial Spokesperson, Dereck Charamba confirmed the attacks and accused the ruling party of commencing political violence ahead of the crucial next year plebiscite.
“We have received reports of an orgy of violence on our members in Gutu, this ruling party is scared of peaceful elections and has already resorted to the use of terror and intimidation on our followers ahead of the elections, the know that they don’t stand a chance against us in free, fair and peaceful polls,” said Charamba.
Zanu PF provincial chairman, Robson Mavhenyengwa said he was not aware of the violence in Gutu but was quick to distance his party from the events.
‘’ I am not aware of that, actually I have not been informed but our party is peaceful and we do not believe in violence , the opposition always accuse us of such things when they realized that they are heading for a defeat in elections,” Mavhenyengwa said.
Masvingo provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Kudakwashe Dehwa, said he has not received reports of the incidents from his Gutu counterparts, as the victims claimed that they reported the matter at Bhasera Police station.