News / Africa

Harare Suburb Center of Political Violence

Gary Stafford and his wife talk to the Director General of National Parks, Vitalis Chadenga, after their bird sanctuary Kuimba Shiri Safari Lodge was besieged by scores of Zanu PF supporters demanding they leave, on Lake Chibero, Zimbabwe, January 22, 201
Gary Stafford and his wife talk to the Director General of National Parks, Vitalis Chadenga, after their bird sanctuary Kuimba Shiri Safari Lodge was besieged by scores of Zanu PF supporters demanding they leave, on Lake Chibero, Zimbabwe, January 22, 201
Peta Thornycroft

In the last six weeks political violence in Zimbabwe has intensified, and now one working class Harare suburb has been described as a ‘war zone’ by Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti. There are reports that several supporters of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party have suffered serious injuries.

Biti, who is finance minister in the two-year-old inclusive government, said a violent gang loyal to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party is on the rampage in several townships close to Harare city center.  

An example of violence against MDC members took place earlier this week when a house in Mbare belonging to MDC Harare city councilor Paul Gorekore was destroyed.

MDC secretary general Tendai Biti said he went into the old township to have a look at the damage.

"As I am talking to you now, Mbare is a war zone," said Biti. "One of our key leaders in Mbare, Mr. Gorekore, had his house totally crashed by Zanu-PF thugs. It is a shame to think that in this day and age in Zimbabwe, things like that can happen. Our office in the same suburb was totally vandalized and so forth."

Biti said every time MDC victims of Zanu-PF violence go to report incidents to the police, they land in prison as accused persons. He said this happened again when Gorekore went to report the destruction of his house.

"Eight people went to report to the police, including Mr. Korekore, and he was imprisoned," said Biti. "The police are acting in complicity with Zanu-PF, and Mbare is just three kilometers from downtown Harare."

Biti said the upsurge in violence began about six weeks ago. He said he has gone to see several victims of what he called Zanu-PF violence in the southeast and northeast of Zimbabwe in the last few weeks.

Zimbabwe republic police spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, said he did not yet know details of how Korekore’s house was destroyed, as investigations were incomplete. He said the violence in Mbare began when MDC supporters attacked a Zanu-PF man in the township.

Bvudzijena also said there were also disputes between Zanu-PF and MDC about ownership of small commercial stalls in several townships around Harare. "It’s not just about people fighting for nothing and its not about politics, it’s about access to resources."

In the 2008 parliamentary elections, the MDC party won control of all Zimbabwe’s urban areas, including Harare.

Zimbabwe human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said the recent violence in Harare townships was a ploy by Zanu-PF to reclaim control of urban areas it lost when the MDC participated in its first elections in 2000.

She said in every incident of political violence, police only arrested MDC members. She said the recent violence in Harare townships was caused by Zanu-PF supporters who believed it was their "God-given" right to take commercial property from MDC members.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid