The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has blamed Zanu PF youths for a savage attack on their Midlands provincial treasurer and his wife Wednesday night, an accusation that the former ruling party denies.
The MDC-T said four Zanu PF youths wearing bandanas on Wednesday attacked and seriously injured John Kinnaird (56) and his wife Jackie (47) in their home in Kadoma.
The party said the two were hospitalized due to the severity of injuries sustained following assaults with wheel spanners and metal rods.
John is said to have sustained multiple head wounds, which required 14 stitches and a fractured arm while his wife, Jackie, got a bruised throat and fractured arm which was operated on Friday
A police report was filed but no arrests have been made.
The latest attack comes amid reports that there is a so-called heavy presence of an illegal Zanu PF militia calling itself, Al-Shabab that is causing terror in Kwekwe and surrounding areas.
Roy Bennett, the exiled treasurer general of the MDC-T told the VOA he spoke to the victims on the phone and they were convinced that the attack was politically motivated because of their increasing popularity among locals in Kadoma.
Bennett said the attack is designed to instill fear among local people ahead of the constitutional referendum and general elections.
“John Kinnaird is a fine man. He was elected unanimously by the people of the Midlands. Obviously he is playing an effective role in that province in his capacity as treasurer of the party and that is why they were attacked,” Bennett said.
The MDC official said he did not believe that it was a robbery as the assailants only took two cellphones and US$2,000 but left a lot of valuables like laptops and jewelry.
Bennett said it is very sad that reports of politically motivated violence are continuing despite calls by President Robert Mugabe for peace and tolerance.
He said: “You have the opening of parliament, you have Robert Mugabe sidestepping Mujuru to hug Prime Minister Tsvangirai to promise peace and no violence and while he is hugging PM Tsvangirai a faction of his party is beating up members of the opposition.”
Bennett warned: “Unless you deal with the security sector reform ... Unless you can deal with the generals, the brigadiers that hold the stolen wealth of Zimbabwe ... those people are never going to relinquish power.”
But Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo denied party supporters were involved in the attack of the white couple saying this is a strategy being used by the MDC-T to discredit Zanu-PF and to create an impression that there is violence in the country.
He said: “I think this was a stage-managed affair in order to tarnish the image of Zanu PF. So I don’t believe the story.”
The Zanu PF spokesman said the MDC-T is capable of sending its own youths to attack fellow members and supporter as part of a well-orchestrated plan by the former opposition party “to create noise all over the country to create an impression that there is violence in Zimbabwe and therefore elections cannot be held in a free and fair manner.”