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Political Violence Said Rising In Zimbabwe Despite Political Accord

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Political violence is on the rise again in Zimbabwe despite the signature less than two weeks ago of an agreement to establish a unity government in which power would be shared by the long-ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change, now in majority in parliament, MDC officials said.

The MDC formation led by party founder Morgan Tsvangirai, slated to become prime minister in the new government, issued a statement saying there's been a resurgence of violence against its supporters by ZANU-PF militia members and other militants.

The MDC grouping said dozens of its supporters have been assaulted, turned out of their homes or seen them burned by militants of the former ruling

Tsvangirai MDC formation spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that such attacks run counter to the spirit of cooperation in which the power-sharing agreement was signed on Sept. 15.

Some of that violence has been taking place in Mbare, a populous Harare suburb where according to MDC sources some 61 families were attacked by ZANU-PF militia members in full view of police at the Matapi station, who took no action.

Members of those families were attempting to reclaim their homes from which they were expelled in June amidst election-related violence, but met with resistance despite being accompanied by a court officer and the Mbare member of parliament.

Witnesses said two truckloads of ZANU-PF militia including the notorious Chipangano gang associated with ZANU-PF invaded the police station singing songs denouncing the MDC and beating party members while the police passively looked on.

ZANU-PF youth militia evicted MDC supporters from houses owned by the city council in the Mbare, Nenyere and Matapi flats and the so-called Joburg Lines. A magistrate in Mbare recently issued an order supporting the evicted tenants' claim to their homes.

VOA was unable to obtain comment from the police or ZANU-PF officials.

Mbare Member of Parliament Piniel Denga of the MDC Tsvangirai formation told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that officers at the Matapi police station, instead of taking action to halt the assaults, accused him of inciting people and sought to arrest him.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...