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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
the MDC: See, hear, say no evil
Caesar Zvayi , The Herald (Zimbabwe)
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Some Western nations, and the Office of the United Nations Secretary
General were regrettably quick to issue statements condemning the
arrest of opposition MDC and NCA
leaders and activists on Sunday, and their subsequent assault when
caught in the cross-fire, completely ignoring the mayhem they caused
in Highfield and surrounding suburbs.
While all media
scholars would concur that news reports are mediated reality, the
reports by Western agencies that informed the opinions of those
who condemned the arrests were surprisingly deafeningly silent on
the mayhem unleashed by the opposition. The opposition activists
have openly declared war on the police in line with their so-called
"defiance campaign" carried out by armed "democratic resistance
committees" tasked to target members of the security forces thwarting
the campaigns of violence. The opposition groups have also gone
on a crusade of targeting the dwellings of the security forces in
the high-density suburbs to cow them, or put pressure on landlords
to evict them.
who refused to join in were also mugged and robbed while their property
was either destroyed or looted. So ruthless and systematic have
been the campaigns of violence that no nation worth its salt would
sit by and let such incipient terrorism take root. In subsequent
paragraphs, we detail the timeline of the violence campaign that
began the day MDC faction leaders met U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe
Christopher Dell at Bronte Hotel in Harare's Avenues area, where
the defiance plan was conceived.
meets high-powered four-member delegations from both MDC camps at
Bronte Hotel in the Avenues, where he orders them to re-unite and
pledges US$1 million to a unified MDC. Morgan Tsvangirai, spokesman
Nelson Chamisa, secretary general Tendai Biti and deputy treasurer
Elton Mangoma represented the Tsvangirai group; while the Mutambara
camp had Arthur Mutambara, his deputy Gibson Sibanda, secretary
general Welshman Ncube and defence secretary Job Sikhala. Dell proposed
that they re-unite under the aegis of the Save Zimbabwe Convention
to present a united front to confront the Government.
After that both
MDC factions engaged the NCA, ZCTU,
Coalition in Zimbabwe, Women/Men
of Zimbabwe Arise, Zinasu
and the Christian Alliance. They pledged to drum up support for
anti-Government activities and civil disobedience through which
they hoped to make Zimbabwe ungovernable to warrant foreign intervention.
They believed the economic hardships would get the urbanites to
support them, while poor working conditions in the civil service
would have the security forces look the other way.
to February 17, 2007
MDC Tsvangirai faction holds nine rallies in Chisumbanje, Kuwadzana
4, Glen View 1, Magunje, Mabvuku, Mufakose, Epworth, Sakubva, and
Kambuzuma where the message was opposition to proposed harmonisation
of presidential and parliamentary elections and defiance campaigns
against the Government. The faction also organised three abortive
demonstrations in Harare and
The NCA also convened
five demonstrations in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare where its chairman,
Lovemore Madhuku, pledged to make Zimbabwe ungovernable.
The MDC Mutambara
faction held one meeting in Gwanda and the two scheduled for Bulawayo
failed to take-off, as the police did not sanction them. The faction,
however, distributed flyers calling on people to go on a defiance
campaign against the Government. The Save Zimbabwe Campaign launched
a "Sounds of Freedom" campaign in Bulawayo on January 23 distributing
flyers in English, Ndebele and Shona urging people to hoot, clap,
whistle, scream and shout for a better Zimbabwe every Wednesday
from 1300 hours to 1310 hours, starting January 24 while Zinasu
organised an abortive demonstration at Harare Polytechnic on Valentine's
Day. Nine students were arrested.
of MDC youths driving a pick-up truck with blacked-out number plates
storm a butchery owned by Zanu PF shadow MP for Kambuzuma Dr Samuel
Mvurume at Kambuzuma 5 Shopping Centre where they smash glasses
of the deep-freezer and steal meat from the refrigerator. They are
coming from a Tsvangirai faction rally at Kambuzuma Recreational
Park where faction national chairman Isaac Matongo has told them
to be courageous as a lot of people would be killed, injured and/or
arrested when the MDC launches its violent campaign to topple the
Government. He urges them to attend the launch at Zimbabwe Grounds
on February 18.
police officers -- Number 02485L Sergeant Mukora and Number 984827N
Constable Tichareva, both of Waterfalls Police -- are assaulted
after they try to break a group of approximately 120 MDC Tsvangirai
supporters gathered at Rezende North Bus terminus in Harare for
a demonstration. One Wunganai Tapfumanei of Number 111-36th Street,
Budiriro 1, Harare is arrested in connection with the assault.
The same day,
at Ximex Mall, a group of about 200 MDC supporters attack the following
two police officers: Number 050100F constable Kanzou of Harare Central
Operations; he is assaulted with booted feet and stabbed with a
knife on the left buttock; and Number 049556P Constable Chimunzi
of Harare Central Operations who is assaulted with booted feet and
clenched fists all over the body. He sustains moderate head injuries.
The demonstrators steal the officers' police caps and handcuffs.
Some of the demonstrators run towards the Police Post corner First
Street and George Silundika Avenue, which they stone, breaking two
are arrested, they pay deposit fines of $250 each for contravening
Section 41 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 "Disorderly conduct
in a public place." Police Harare Central Z69 (j) number 4595569-76A.
Wunganai Tapfumanei is still detained at Police Harare Central,
Central IR 021547.
faction leader Arthur Mutambara arrived in Bulawayo to launch the
"Defiance Campaign" at Small City Hall. He is informed the rally
has been cancelled by the Regulating Authority and the crowd disperses.
As they do so, some supporters shout at the police officers leading
to the arrest of seven of them for contravening Section 19(1) (b)
of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. They pay deposit
fines of $250 apiece. Police Bulawayo Central Z69 (j) numbers are
the cancellation of the rally planned for Zimbabwe Grounds by the
regulating authority, MDC youths go around Highfield damaging property
and looting from vendors and shops, while a truck with a loud hailer
drives around the suburb urging people to attend the unsanctioned
An hour later
about 30 MDC youths in party regalia stone and damage doors at OK
Zimbabwe Supermarket at Machipisa Shopping Centre. They steal compact
disc holders from the supermarket, and loot clothes from a flea
market opposite the supermarket. They also stone a Barclays Bank
Around 0950 hours:
One Gift Maukazuva (24) -- an MDC member -- of Number 6172 Mangwende
Drive East, Highfield, is kidnapped by three youths loyal to Tsvangirai,
among them Chris Madzore and one Dickson. They accuse him of being
an informer for the Central Intelligence Organisation before locking
him in the boot of a Toyota Cressida registration numbers 526-719X
owned by the Tsvangirai faction national youth secretary Solomon
Madzore. They drive Maukazuva to Dema in Seke where they severely
assault him with a brick and an iron rod leaving him for dead. He
is later picked, on the brink of death, by passers-by who take him
to police in Chitungwiza.
1000 hours: The
following MDC Tsvangirai activists: Benjamin Maimba, Eric Murayi,
Toendepi Shonhe, and Costa Machingauta drove around Machipisa Shopping
Centre in a Toyota Prado registration number AAU 5067, urging people
to attend the rally at Zimbabwe Grounds. They are arrested and charged
with contravening Section 36 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act.
1100 hours: 50
youths stone a Zupco bus, Isuzu registration numbers 830-514F driven
by Ishmael Munyaradzi. Five windows on the left side are shattered.
No one is injured.
1230 hours: Tsvangirai,
Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa drive to Police Southerton in a
convoy of 11 cars intending to see Chief Superintendent Jangara,
the Officer Commanding Police Harare South District in connection
with the Prohibition Order.
They are told
he is at Police Machipisa. They then drive towards Machipisa from
where they are dispersed by the police.
A total of 37
people are arrested in connection with the violence.
disturbances in Highfield, from 2000 hours on February 18 to about
0200 on February 19, MDC Tsvangirai youths stone and burn vehicles
at Glen View Area 8 robots.
A Mazda 323 registration
number 595-354X owned by John Chitakatira of Number 2336-35 Crescent,
Glen View 1, Harare, is burnt and reduced to a shell. The vehicle
is valued at $10 million.
vehicles, including nine commuter omnibuses, among them a Zupco
bus, are stoned around the same place.
From 0945 hours to 1000 hours, Chief Supt Jangara holds a meeting
with MDC Tsvangirai faction national organising secretary Elias
Mudzuri, whom he gives the Prohibition
Order banning rallies for a period of three months. Chief Supt
Jangara informs Mudzuri that if his faction desists from violence,
the prohibition order could be revoked. Mudzuri says he is taking
the Prohibition Order to his superiors and legal advisors but is
not in a position to predict their reaction.
bus, Mazda Swaraji registration numbers 829-418Q, is damaged at
Kuwadzana 5 Turnoff by approximately 15 MDC Tsvangirai youths singing
and chanting slogans. They barricade the road with stones and rubble.
Police attend the scene and arrest the following: Alex Maorere NR:
83-097053G-83 of Number 6835 Kuwadzana 5, Harare, and Douglas Mutinwi
of Number 6235 Kuwadzana 5, Harare.
of NCA members hold demonstrations in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, and
The same day around
0420 hours six suspected MDC Tsvangirai faction activists block
the road at the intersection of First Street and Chesvingo Drive,
Masvingo, using the wreckage of a car and burning tyres. Constable
Chipenge, who lives along the street, hears the noise outside and
discovers the burning tyres; he telephones Police Masvingo Central
who attend the scene. No is arrested.
At the same time,
some tyres are set ablaze on the Masvingo-Beitbridge Road near Mucheke
Bridge. At Pangolin Business Centre, Masvingo, another group cuts
down gumtrees with a hacksaw and blocks Jairos Jiri Road. They also
block Charumbira Street opposite Mandava Service Station with stones.
1600 hours: The
same day 20 UZ students led by Tineyi Mukweva a former Student Executive
Council president, enter UZ campus through an undesignated entry
point and proceed to New Complex 5. They are holding some wooden
and metal objects singing and toy-toying. Upon arrival at the New
Complex 5, they smash glasses of the French door at the entrance
destroying nine panes.
The group moves
to the campus supermarket with the intention of looting but when
they get there, none of them has the guts to break-in, they run
away. The matter is reported to Avondale Police Station. Police
Avondale attend the scene, but no arrests are made. Case is still
under investigation, OB 1193/07.
March 1, 2007
MDC Tsvangirai faction goes on a campaign to mobilise people to
attend a rally at Budiriro 1 Shopping Centre scheduled for March
4 in defiance of the Prohibition Order, the youths are promised
$60 000 each for participating in the rally or demonstration.
March 10, 2007
hours, the following MDC Mutambara faction youths are arrested in
Mbare while distributing flyers inviting people to the Save Zimbabwe
Campaign rally in Highfield: Lamech Homerai (27), and Tawanda Hudzerema
(25). They are detained at Police Stodart for contravening Section
46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Police Stodart
RRB 121336 refers.
March 11, 2007
hours, 14 officials from both MDC factions hold a meeting at Number
83 Central Avenue in Harare to prepare for their intended Save Zimbabwe
Campaign rally scheduled for Zimbabwe Grounds. Also in attendance
is the chairman of the Combined Harare Residents' Association, Mikes
Davies. Police order them to disperse, they comply but before doing
so, Mutambara says as opposition political leaders, they do not
recognise the police force of an "illegitimate government".
1145 hours: The
following people are arrested at different places in Lusaka, Highfield
on their way to Zimbabwe Grounds: Nelson Chamisa, Mike Davies, and
Willias Madzimure MDC MP for Kambuzuma.
1200 hours: Ten
Zinasu members are arrested at Market Square, Harare, intending
to board commuter omnibuses to Zimbabwe Grounds, Highfield, to attend
the Save Zimbabwe Campaign rally.
1220 hours: The
following police officers deployed in Highfield are attacked by
a group of MDC activists: Assistant Inspector Mwinde Harare Central,
034294A Sergeant Makurumure Harare Central, and 053737J Constable
Ndowa Harare Central. Assistant Insp. Mwinde manages to escape,
but Const Ndowa and Sgt Makurumure are assaulted and sustain serious
head injuries. They are admitted at Harare Central Hospital, both
officers were unarmed.
1235 hours: About
30 "Save Zimbabwe Campaign" project members are picked up by police
at different spots in Lusaka, Highfield, trying to force their way
to Zimbabwe Grounds. Among them are the following MDC faction members:
Arthur Mutambara (MDC faction president), Job Sikhala (MP St Mary's),
Tendai Biti (MP Harare East), Sekai Holland, Clement Chigome, Tendai
Musiyazviripo, Tendai Chitseke, Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, Element Chikwira,
Emmanuel Mauya, Abiso Dzvairo, Frank Nyagumbo, and Francis Chikunguri.
1300 hours: Tsvangirai
and Madhuku are seen addressing youths who attacked police officers,
the youths disperse leaving Tsvangirai and Madhuku who are subsequently
arrested. The duo is taken to Machipisa Police Station. They accuse
police of being used by Zanu-PF and threaten unspecified action
against the officers.
1420 hours: A
European Union vehicle registration number 120 CD 34 is seen driving
around Highfield with two occupants who enquire from the public
the whereabouts of Tsvangirai.
1500 hours: At
Zindoga Shopping Centre, Waterfalls, a Zupco bus registration number
AAS 0949 has its windows shattered by stones thrown by Save Zimbabwe
Campaign project activists. The activists also throw a petrol bomb
at a ZNA vehicle, Mazda B1800 registration numbers 43 BB 97 that
is parked at the shopping centre. The bomb explodes igniting fire,
which extensively damages the seats. Major Stanley Dhlamini based
at KGVI who is driving the vehicle is alerted and rushes to extinguish
the blaze. Two opposition activists Christopher Dziro and Tapera
Munemiwa are arrested in connection with the incidents.
1545 hours: Officer-In-Charge
Machipisa Police, and his deputy are driving around Highfield in
a station vehicle, a Mazda B1800. They have eight details on board,
one of them is armed with an FN rifle. The team meets 200 MDC Save
Zimbabwe Campaign project activists who charge towards the vehicle.
The armed officer fires 18 warning shots into the air but the youths
continue advancing, the officer then hits MDC Tsvangirai Glen View
district chairman Gift Tandare in the right armpit and he dies on
Tandare had been
in remand prison since 2003 in connection with the burning of a
Zupco bus in another riotous situation, and had just been recently
released from custody.
A total of 60
Save Zimbabwe Campaign project activists including their leaders
are arrested in connection with the skirmishes in Highfield.
2000 hours: About
50 MDC Tsvangirai faction youths try to raid Kuwadzana Police Station.
An officer manning the gate fires warning shots into the air to
scare them away. The youths run to Bulawayo Road Roundabout in Kuwadzana
where they block the road with big stones forcing vehicles to stop.
They then hide in a nearby maize field from where they stone seven
vehicles shattering windows.
Police from Kuwadzana
and Dzivaresekwa pursue the youths after receiving reports from
complainants of the stoned vehicles. They open fire into the maize
fields shooting one youth, Peter Chibanda (30) of Room 22 Block
12C Chishawasha Flats, Mbare, on the right upper arm. He is arrested
and detained at Police Dzivarasekwa. DB 309/07.
March 12, 2007
hours: A group of about 50 MDC Tsvangirai youths barricade Dzivaresekwa
Road with stones near Jacaranda Bus Stop. They stone a St Johns
ambulance registration numbers AAP 6340 being driven by one Lione
Mwanjira shattering seven windows. No one is arrested.
March 13, 2007
policewomen are badly burnt in a petrol bomb attack on Marimba Police
Camp in Harare at midnight. A police post in Mkoba, Gweru, is also
bombed the same night by suspected MDC activists. The raiders cut
the wire along the northern boundary of Marimba Police Camp and
threw petrol bombs and teargas canisters at three houses, the most
serious damage and all the injuries occurring at a house shared
by three women constables. Constables Busani Moyo and Pretty Mushonga
have their faces seriously burned while Constable Brenda Makamba
escaped with less serious burns on the chest, legs and arms. All
three are in Parirenyatwa Hospital.
MDC youths barricade
roads in Glen View 3, destroying property and stoning vehicles A
commuter omnibus is stoned before being overturned along Glen View
Way, just opposite Glen View 3 High School, at around 5am. At Tichagarika
Shopping Centre, the rampaging youths uproot and destroy a phone
shop cabin, which they later use to barricade Willowvale Road.
denouncing the arrest of the perpetrators do not mention the violence
by opposition activists.
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