WASHINGTON DC —
Cases of political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe are on the rise as the country inches closer to a general election to be held next Wednesday.
In Midlands province’s Mberengwa North constituency, Movement for Democratic Change candidate and president of the Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, Takavafira Zhou, said he was attacked Thursday by more than 50 Zanu PF youth militia under the leadership of a man only identified as Zimi.
Zhou said he was holding a rally in Gwengwena area when the youths attacked them with stones and sticks, resulting in the seven of them being injured, two of them seriously.
The two were admitted to Mberengwa General Hospital.
When Zhou spoke to VOA Studio 7 he said was at Mberengwa Police Station where he had gone to report the incident.
In Mberengwa East, a group calling itself Mberengwa Agenda accused Zanu PF candidate Jorum Gumbo of intimidating people at a rally it alleged he addressed Thursday at Mpesi Business Centre.
The group also accused Gumbo of tearing down MDC-T posters at Chebvute communal lands.
But Gumbo vehemently denied ever intimidating people and dismissed reports that he addressed that same rally saying he spent the whole day at a funeral in that area.
Interview With Jorum Gumbo
VOA Studio 7 failed to establish the people behind Mberengwa Agenda as their given phone numbers were not working. But a church priest in the area confirmed that Gumbo was at the funeral of an unidentified local person.
In Mashonaland Central, MDC-T provincial chairman Godfrey Chimombe said his party’s supporters were being harassed by Zanu PF activists and war veterans.
He said the war veterans and Zanu PF supporters have set up bases in Nyava, Mupandira and Rushinga communal lands.
At the same time, MDC-T candidate for Uzumba in Mashonaland East, Peckson Kazingizi, said war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda last week Wednesday addressed a rally at Manyika Business Centre where he threatened villagers with unspecified severe action if they did not vote for Zanu PF.
Kazingizi said four cases of violence have so far been reported to the police but no arrests have been made.