MDC caves in to ZANU-PF demands
THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has caved in to demands by ZANU-PF to withdraw a motion on political violence setting itself on collision course with supporters who have borne the brunt of alleged brutality witnessed in the run-up to the June 2008 presidential election runoff.
The motion to investigate acts of politically motivated violence that marred the run-up to the June 27 poll was tabled in the House of Assembly last year by the MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese. But it was shelved after ZANU-PF convinced MDC-T legislators to defer the motion as it was against the spirit of inclusiveness.
Gonese, who is the lawmaker for Mutare Central said: “We have deferred the motion indefinitely. We are considering whether it would be appropriate to bring it back to Parliament.”
A number of MDC-T activists have been arrested in recent weeks for beating up ZANU-PF supporters as acts of retribution flare up in some parts of the country.
Last week police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said 12 people had appeared in court after suspected ZANU-PF supporters attacked an MDC member, destroying his property.
The MDC member allegedly retaliated and all hell broke loose with property worth millions of dollars being destroyed.
There has been a resurgence in violence with the latest case being reported in Buhera, the Prime Minister’s home area.
Principals to the Global Political Agreement have since called for an end to violence which raised its ugly head once again in Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces where MDC-T supporters reclaimed properties seized by ZANU-PF activists during the run-up to the elections.
Lovemore Chinoputsa, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe National Students Union, which backed MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in last year’s polls said deferring the issue of violence was a betrayal to dissenting voices.
ZANU-PF’s opposition to the motion comes months after President Robert Mugabe’s administration snubbed a request by the United Nations country team to carry a joint assessment of reports of political violence that led to the death of four MDC activists — Tonderai Ndira, Bera Chokururama, Godfrey Kauzani and Cain Nyeve.
The UN country team also implicated state security agents in some of the violence. This led to protracted talks between the two MDCs and ZANU-PF under the mediation of former South African president Thabo Mbeki and later regional leaders resulting in the consummation of the inclusive government on February 13.
The UN said there was evidence that state security agents had participated in the violence.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who was responsible for information dissemination in the ZANU-PF camp dismissed the allegations and pointed fingers at the MDC for fomenting violence in order to win the harmonised polls which were peaceful in March, but turned nasty in June.
Tsvangirai withdrew from the presidential run-off citing political violence in which the MDC-T claimed that over 200 of its supporters had been killed while 300 000 others displaced countrywide.
Villagers lost livestock, mainly cattle and goats taken MDC caves in to ZANU-PF demands