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Intimidated MDC-T Supporters Living in Mountains

Some MDC-T supporters currently living in a mountainous area in the Muzarabani communal lands, Mashonaland Central Province.
Some activists of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are living in the mountains in Muzarabani South constituency, Mashonaland Central province, due to post election violence and intimidation they claim is being perpetrated by Zanu PF supporters in the district.

Thirty three MDC-T members say they have been forced to leave their homes by Zanu PF supporters in the area allegedly working in cahoots with Chief Chiweshe and local headmen and are now living in mountains fearing a return of the 2008 run-off violence and bloodshed.

The MDC-T supporters says they have known no peace since the July 31 polls that they claim were rigged by President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

One such person is Frank Machaya, who claims that some named Zanu PF supporters threatened to behead him for supporting Mr. Tsvangirai and refusing to fake illiteracy so someone could assist him on polling day.

Violet Rumero, who contested in council elections in Muzarabani South's Ward 9, says life is now difficult for her as she is now finding it hard to feed her three children. She is staying with the children in the mountains.

Morgan Masindisa complains that his conjugal rights were now being violated as men are now spending the night on one side of the mountain while women are also sleeping on the other side.

He says they have decided to be in groups in those mountains as way of protecting each other.
Masindisa claims were backed by his Shylock Rumero.

Frank Chitova says they have reported the Zanu PF threats to the police in Muzarabani but officers have taken no action.

Staunch supporter Joram Frank, who was clad in his MDC-T regalia even in the mountain, said he is sure that Mr. Tsvangirai was robbed of victory and urged him to explore all avenues to ensure that the democratic will of the people who voted on July 31 prevails.

Frank says it is surprising that Zanu PF was intimidating people yet the party claims to have won the elections.

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Studio 7 failed to get a comment from Chief Chiweshe, the police in Mashonaland Central province as well as the accused Zanu PF activists.

However, zanu PF MP-elect for Umguza Obert Mpofu said his party has displayed political tolerance and maturity before and after the elections.

Recently, MDC-T parliamentary candidate, Edmond Lulindo Masuku, who lost to Mpofu, told VOA his party supporters in Nyamandlovu's Ward 5 were barred from fetching water at a local borehole by the winning Zanu PF council candidate, but Mpofu intervened on their behalf.

Mpofu said Zanu PF is a reasonable organization as exemplified by “the peaceful atmosphere” prevailing in Bulawayo where his party lost all parliamentary seats to MDC-T and in Matabeleland regions where Zanu PF won overwhelmingly.

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On the other hand, Mr. Tsvangirai says he will challenge the outcome of the elections in the courts Friday while taking the issue to the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.