Suspected Zanu PF youths reportedly went on the rampage in Mbare on Monday, destroying a bottle store owned by an opposition activist on allegations that the place was being used to hold MDC-T meetings.
BY PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
According to reports, riot police officers had to be called in to quell the situation. The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) condemned the violence.
“Today (Monday) Zanu PF youths visited Ngaritutwe Bottle Store in Mbare and forced the proprietors to close down the bar accusing them of holding MDC-T meetings at the bar,” ZPP said.
“The matter was reported to the police under RRB number 3030122.”
The youth militia action brings back dark memories of the 2008 political violence in the suburb which was spearheaded by Chipangano, a feared Zanu PF youth group. Many opposition activists were evicted from hostels and vending sites as retribution for supporting the MDC-T.
ZPP said the youths went on to burn sofas in the building and locked the gate, ordering the proprietors to stop their business operations.
The organisation further stated Zanu PF youths had imposed an economic embargo against members of other political parties in Mbare and were carrying out these activities with impunity as the police seem reluctant to deal with the known perpetrators.
“Riot police were called, but they did not intervene and were ordered off the scene by the Zanu PF youths,” ZPP said.
The organisation called on police and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission to intervene in the gross abuse of human rights in Mbare.
“Citizens have a right to freedom of association and assembly and their access to economic opportunities must not be based on their political affiliation. Police and relevant human rights bodies must investigate the terror gangs in Mbare who are preventing other people from carrying out their economic activities,” ZPP urged.
However, Zanu PF Harare provincial youth chairperson Edson Takataka said he was not aware of the incident.
“From what I hear, there is no official report, but the incident is said to be an industrial disagreement at Koffman’s Plot. It was nothing political,” he claimed.