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Mourners assaulted and ZUPCO bus vandalized - The true story
Peter Bhokosi,Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
March 22, 2007

It was a tragedy for mourners who were returning from a funeral on Sunday 11 March 2007 as they had to mourn a second time when their valuables were forcibly taken away from them.

The incident occurred along Mbudzi at Kelvin (Zindoga) Shopping Center in Waterfalls. Mourners were in a ZUPCO bus when it was stopped by five young men who identified as police from the Stordart Police Station. Only one of them was in uniform and the rest wore casual.

The five got onto the bus carrying button sticks and demanded to know why these mourners had not gone to attend the Save Zimbabwe Campaign Rally. Women from Mbare who were on the bus identified three of the men; Rera and Maromo, who are special constabularies, as well as Mabhena, a police man from stordat police station.

The women only had to ask why this was being done, when suddenly Rera tried to throw some tear gas at the women which fortunately failed to burst. A Glen view woman who was also part of the mourners had a miscarriage due to these assaults. The mourners were then ordered to get off the bus one by one leaving their cell phones and money to the gang. Nine people are reported to have lost their cell phones with many others leaving their money. Those who lost their money include Consilia Munjoma, Petronella Sabau, Amai Bobs and Beauty Kenge.

The people went straight to Stodart Police Station to report the case and were not entertained. They were told that the police could not handle their case in any way, so they had then to report at Mbare Police station. The case is now under investigation but Rera is still being seen walking freely in the streets which leaves people with so many questions.

Later in the day, a ZANU-PF member Tendai Savanhu donated 10 kg's of mealy meal to each of the victims and urged them not to receive any donations that came from the MDC. The donations were made at one house in Mbare National along Mhlanga road. When MDC people later came with donations, the people refused to receive the aid. News also came that Givy Madhete is the one who had cooked food for the gang. She had been promised a $100 000 and a cell phone which she never received up to now. MDC had sent delegates to help but residents had been threatened that if they entertained them they would be beaten up.

For more information contact Colleen Munjoma at Mai Musodzi Community Hall who also received food. Africare/Oxfarm had wanted to donate food to residents but the programme was aborted when ZANU PF leaders brought in more than 20 people who had not been initially included in the programme. Africare members refused to these people food vouchers and the food distribution programme was stopped.

Reports also came that there is a curfew in Mbare where no one is supposed to be seen loitering after 7:30pm else they would be detained by the police or beaten up.

*Peter Bhokosi is CHRA Chairperson for Ward 11, Mbare National

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