Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Home Affairs minister, Kazembe Kazembe reportedly sent police officers to beat up a whole village in Musana Communal Lands in a development viewed by some as intimidation of opponents vying for the ZANU PF provincial chair he currently holds.
Sources told NewZimbabwe that villagers were savagely beaten before they were arrested. The publication further reports that the official version of the story says the incident was in retaliation to an assault on a police officer earlier but sources believe that was merely a scapegoat used by Kazembe to disrupt party members who were conducting district elections. Said a source:
The Mashonaland Central Zanu PF leadership descended to Mupandira Business Centre in Musana on a fact-finding mission after party officials were beaten by police officers at the instruction of Kazembe. The area is believed to be a stronghold for his opponents, and he is taking no prisoners.
A party official said armed police officers came from Bindura with three unmarked vehicles and they also had vicious dogs. Added the official:
They then started beating everyone, including Zanu PF officials who were conducting district elections nearby. They were tearing Zanu PF regalia. Party members were handcuffed and beaten by police officers and had dogs set on them while in handcuffs.
After that, they entered into a nearby village and started beating people indiscriminately. This was clearly done to make it appear as if they were not targeting party officials. They seized people’s axes and other home tools.
Kazembe reportedly visited the area in a haste and ordered the immediate release of ten party officials and that charges against them be withdrawn.
A six-member delegation was then sent to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House in Harare Monday to brief him of the particular incident and other cases of violence and intimidation rocking the province since the ongoing restructuring exercise kicked off three months ago.
Investigations are still underway to ascertain what really transpired as reports say some plain-clothed police officers and other people were seen in the area before the violent attacks.