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Chammisa violence timeline - February to present

by Staff reporter
02 Aug 2018 at 06:25hrs | Views
February 20, 2018: At the burial of Tsvangirai, in Buhera, rowdy MDC-T youths harass party co-vice president Dr Thokozani Khupe and secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora before trying to torch the grass-thatched hut they had taken refuge in. Quick reaction by the police, who moved in to disperse the rowdy youths, saved the situation. Police escorted the pair to a nearby primary school's grounds from where they then followed the proceedings.

March 7, 2018:  Twelve people, including Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda and another councillor, Mlandu Ncube, appeared in court in connection with the violence that rocked the MDC-T Bulawayo province on March 4. More than 15 people were injured.

April 2018: Addressing his party supporters at Jerera Growth point in Zaka, in April Chamisa said his party would use violent means to grab power if they lost the polls. "This time around the election is going to produce one outcome and that is victory for the MDC Alliance," he said. ZEC is a biased referee, a referee who throws away the whistle and joins the other team, we will protest against that, we are going to bring into the streets guys from Mbare Musika they are ready for that. We are not going to leave any stone unturned. In fact, we have given them enough time. This election is going to be very different because I am even ready to take power either by votes or by other means," he said.

May 2018: MDC-T Chamisa faction failed to conduct primary elections in Hwange for the second time in as many weeks as internal violence continued to dog the opposition party. Violence erupted in Ward 8 and 9, resulting in the party abandoning the polls as sitting candidates comprising Hwange Central National Assembly member Mr Brian Tshuma, Ward 8 Councillor Rhoda Sibanda, Ward 9 Cllr Chiratidzo Maphosa-Mudimba, her husband Mr Jabulani Mudimba and the party's district elections officer Mr James Sibanda allegedly visited their rivals' houses at night, threatening them to withdraw or face unspecified action.

On May 14, 2018: Implosion hit MDC-T amid reports that the party leadership imposed National Assembly and local authority candidates for the harmonised election. MDC-T party members staged a demonstration which later became violent outside Harvest House in Harare. They chanted slogans, raised placards and accused some unnamed leaders of imposing their girlfriends as candidates.

June 2018: MDC Alliance aspiring candidates for Mutasa Central and Mutasa North, Trevor Saruwaka and David Chimhini respectively, were summoned to the Mutare Magistrates' Court on charges of promoting public violence. In the same month, a group of rowdy MDC-T youths reportedly disrupt a church service in Mkoba 10, Gweru, on Sunday, destroying the church's perimeter fence arguing the church was built on an access road. Worshippers from Light House Fellowship had to run for dear life and seek cover at Mkoba One Police Station after the youths who were reportedly acting on an instruction from the local councillor and Gweru Mayor Charles Chikozho, turned violent and threatened to beat up everyone. When campaigns were warming up, there was violence against those perceived to be "rebels".

One such case was witnessed at Muchakata Business Centre in Chiwundura Constituency on June 29, 2018, where MDC-Alliance supporters who were bussed from Mkoba Constituency by Amos Chibaya were involved in skirmishes with independent candidate, Blessing Murondiwa's supporters, which resulted in the injury of two people. During the same month, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) noted that the main opposition party MDC-T perpetrated 16 cases of electoral intra-party violence, while Zanu-PF recorded only three cases.

July 23, 2018: At a rally in Mkoba Gweru, MDC-Alliance threatened post-election violence in the event that it lost the July 30 polls, as its leader Mr Nelson Chamisa expected nothing less than victory. On the same day, the threat of violence was also issued by MDC-T youth assembly leader Mr Happymore Chidziva. Mr Chamisa told his supporters that his party was winning the election, adding "in fact we have won this election . . . it is a delayed match yatakarova vanhu kare". He went on to allege that Zanu-PF intended to rig the election and urged his supporters "to protect the vote". "People want a credible election," he said. "Hakudyiwi rinopisa muno . . . mukaita zvokutamba ndinodira jecha muupfu, hamuridyi sadza iroro."

July 25, 2018:  Chamisa told journalists that he would not accept the July 30 election results if they go against the coalition of opposition parties threatening to unleash an orgy of violence to make the country ungovernable. Mr Chamisa further said he was not going to accept anything short of victory.

During the selection of coalition candidates, an unprecedented level of intra-party political violence was witnessed. Dangamvura/Chikanga Constituency in Manicaland Province saw Prosper Mutseyami being assaulted by a metal rod on the head and left for dead. Mutseyami was wrestling with Lynette Karenyi-Kore to land the seat which was finally won by Mutseyami. In Glen View South Constituency, MDC-Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa year imposed Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java, yet the electorate preferred Gladmore Hakata. All sorts of weapons, ranging from catapults to shamboks were used by rival camps.

Source - the herald