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Zanu-PF thugs turned yellow Kwekwe rally bloody red

05 Mar 2022 at 17:09hrs | Views
On Sunday the 27th of February 2022, Zimbabwe's main opposition party Citizens' Coalition for Change held a rally in Kwekwe town which saw a huge attendance by thousands of ecstatically cheering supporters. CCC's resounding stature has grown in just a few months following its formation. The dire need for change after years of poverty and abuse under ZANU PF rule has echoed throughout the nation of Zimbabwe resulting in large numbers of supporters attending CCC rallies across the nation. Kwekwe is no exception despite being the hometown of President E.D Mnangagwa, leader of the ruling ZANU PF regime. During an address at the rally by Nelson Chamisa, the president of CCC, a horrifying bloody scene unfolded unexpectedly leaving Zimbabwean citizens shocked and traumatized. An unidentified group of thugs stormed the rally armed with iron bars, knives and machetes hitting, stabbing, and slashing across CCC supporters killing one and leaving 17 bloody and fatally injured. The terrified CCC supporters took to social media accusations against ZANU PF, calling the attackers ZANU PF thugs. In no time, CCC spokesperson Advocate Fadzayi Mahere took to her twitter an announcement of the attack calling perpetrators of the attack, "ZANU PF thugs" too, due to their barbaric acts.

Over the years ZANU PF has established a systematic machinery of violence and brutality plunging citizens in-between two fronts of terror, firstly terror by the police and armed forces and secondly, by thugs. The Zimbabwean police has worked to limit political freedoms by surveillance and intimidation of citizens, crack down of protests, restricting the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The police have excessively used force towards citizens. There have been unlawful arrests and detentions, severe battery and other forms of torture unleashed on citizens by the police.  Activists, members and supporters of the opposition parties, journalists and their family members have been abducted, sexually assaulted, tortured and killed.

The most effective tool of election violence that the regime has used are thugs commonly referred to as ZANU PF youth. There was excruciating violence perpetrated by these 'youths' in the election years 2002 and 2008 especially in the rural areas. The youths targeted rural homes of well-known opposition party supporters, burnt the homes, raped women, battered people and killed.  Another stronghold of youth terror is high density urban areas. Families in the past have been attacked and left for death in places like Zengeza and Kuwadzana in Harare.

The CCC first held a rally in Harare which was massively attended despite the roadblocks that were set up by the ZRP on the main roads that led to the rally location which citizens defied by walking their way to the rally. The second rally was in Gokwe, and the police again attempted denying CCC supporters their constitutional right to politically participate in any party of their choice. Police targeted a crackdown of the rally, attacking supporters with dogs and button sticks under the accusation that planners of the event did not have a clearance license to hold the rally, which they did have. The matter was hurriedly taken to court, CCC subsequently won the case, and the rally still took place late in the afternoon. Gokwe in thousands waited all day projecting such a loud fight of needing change in Zimbabwe under CCC leadership. The two police incidents undoubtedly coincide considering known use of the police by the regime to try to disrupt free political participation of citizens.

After glitches that attempted holding the two CCC rallies back, supporters anticipated a smooth sailing of the Kwekwe rally. Contrary to the supporters' expectations, fate turned a dark page in the history of CCC. Kwekwe is a stronghold of hooligans, dominated by drugs, unemployment, and illegal mining. The president's government has not attempted cutting off illegal mining in Kwekwe because it has replaced their failure to provide jobs and cab unemployment. The thugs cheer the president ED for availing illegal mining in the city. Speculations point at cases like that of Henrietta Rushwaya, a relative to ED who was caught in possession of 6kgs of gold illegally to say at the helm of illegal mining are influential ZANU PF people who benefit by encompassing the illegally mined gold for themselves and it never sees its way to the national treasurers.

The opposition's conviction that attackers at the rally are ZANU PF thugs is therefore a result of ZANUPF's subjecting of masses to thugs' terror over the years and also their reluctance to restore law in Kwekwe which has been replaced by machetes gangs who are linked to illegal gold mining and drug dealing.


Source - Nontokozo Malaba Ncube
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