Reign of terror! …Government beware

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THE violent nature of the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance has once again come to the fore with reports that the party will this week re-introduce a para-military wing within its structures.

Last week, the MDC Youth Assembly said it will this week set up Community Resistance Committees (CRCs) to fight machete gang groups.

The party said these community resistance committees will be in all districts across the country. 

“As a pro-people assembly, it is our duty to make sure that our parents, brothers and sisters are safe from attacks,” said MDC Youth Assembly spokesperson, Stephen Sarkozy Chuma.

“As such, the assembly will from next (this) week set up community resistance committees across all districts whose prime mandate is to protect citizens from attacks by Mashurugwi terror gangs.”

This is not the first time MDC has formed what it terms ‘local self-defence bodies’.

We are reminded of 2007 which Morgan Tsvangirai dubbed MDC’s ‘Year of Action’ – a euphemism for ‘Year of Terror’. 

MDC youths trained to commit acts of violence were organised into terrorist cells called Democratic Resistance Committees (DRCs) which were unleashed to administer mayhem on innocent people in the name of regime change. 

However, upon their formation, DRCs were said to be ‘local self-defence bodies’ ostensibly formed to protect MDC members from so-called attacks by ZANU PF and state agencies.

However, they left a trail of terror.

It is alleged the resuscitation of the DRCs is being funded by Bright Pharmacies’ owner and managing director, Brighton Chawatama, while self-exiled, Jonathan Moyo has been tasked with sourcing foreign funding towards the DRCs and the impending violent attacks.

“Bright Chawatama is the leading donor towards the re-introduction of the DRCs while Jonathan Moyo has been tasked with sourcing funding from the Diaspora towards the initiative,” said a Harare Post report.

The report also highlights that the architects of the DRCs will be going to Sweden in Orebro where they will be trained on ‘low intensity sabotage programme.’ 

A Swedish organisation is said to be funding the training on weapon handling, sabotage and sustaining demonstrations among others skills.

The Swedish training will be similar to the one NGOs activists went through in Maldives in May last year, where they were trained by a Serbian organisation, the Centre for Applied Non-violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS).

The Sweden training is coming against the background that the MDC Youth Assembly is plotting to stage violent demonstrations across the country.

The coming demonstrations would involve vandalism of vital installations like railway lines, mobile network base stations, signal equipment and burning ZUPCO buses.

The move is expected to cripple the economy and drain the fiscus, thereby forcing ZANU PF to the negotiating table.

According to the report, the MDC Alliance treasurer-general, David Coltart and the Swedish donor are going to fund the operations. 

MDC Alliance secretary-general Charlton Hwende and secretary for presidential affairs responsible for strategy and planning, Murisi Zwizwai also pledged substantial amounts of money towards the sabotage activities.

A litany of violence

In March 2007 alone, MDC’s DRCs were credited with committing some of the most violent crimes listed below as can be confirmed by police records: 

  • 12 March: Petrol bombing of Zimbabwe Republic Police, Unit N Police Camp in Chitungwiza. 
  • 13 March: Petrol bombing of ZANU PF branch chairman’s house in Unit L, Chitungwiza. 
  • 13 March: A Zimbabwe National Army member and flea market vendors were assaulted by MDC youths. 
  • 13 March: Petrol bombing of Nehanda Police Post in Mkoba, Gweru. 
  • 14 March: Four MDC youths petrol-bombed a police officer’s house at Marimba Park Police Station seriously injuring three female officers. 
  • 18 March: Petrol bombing of House Number 11 Zanuyatonga Street, Chitungwiza, on wrong intelligence that it belonged to a ZANU PF councillor of the area. 
  • 19 March: A cross border Toyota Coaster (AAZ 3976) ferrying shoppers from Botswana was stoned and burnt down at Kuwadzana roundabout along Bulawayo Road. 
  • 23 March: A Harare-Bulawayo-bound passenger train with 750 passengers on board was petrol-bombed by MDC youths near Mhuriimwe Secondary School in Mufakose, Harare, injuring four passengers. One injured pregnant woman miscarried after the attack. 
  • 23 March: Petrol bombing of Chisamba Police Station in Sakubva, Mutare. 
  • 23 March: House Number 2002 Gwinyai Street, St Mary’s, Chitungwiza was petrol- bombed. The house belonged to a ZANU PF district treasurer. 
  • 24 March: Muchada Supermarket and Pfukwa Night Club in Warren Park D were petrol bombed. The owner is a well-known ZANU PF member. 
  • 27 March: Petrol bombing of ZANU PF’s Joshua Nkomo office in Mbare, Harare, by five MDC youths destroying all the furniture in the process. 
  • 29 March: House Number 6847 Western Triangle, Highfield, was petrol-bombed believing it belonged to a ZNA member when it didn’t. 
  • 29 March: MDC youths unsuccessfully attempted to burn down a Zambian-registered fuel tanker near Sanhanga Shopping Centre in Mutare. 
  • 30 March: Petrol bombing of Gumba’s Wholesalers on Leopold Takawira Street, Harare. 
  • 30 March: A Mazda B2500 pick-up (647- 515V) belonging to a ZANU PF supporter was petrol-bombed at Current Shopping Centre in Budiriro 5, Harare. 
  • 3 April: ZINASU vandals petrol-bombed UZ Complexes One and Four dining halls shattering all windows. The roofs collapsed following the attack. 

Pursuant to the foregoing series of terrorist acts, the police raided Harvest House, the MDC headquarters and recovered the following weapons of war and other items of interest to the police: 2 000 sharp and piercing objects used in making incendiary bombs; 2 SW radios; 43 Zimbabwean passports with RSA visa application forms; eight loud hailers; 104 spray guns; propaganda video and audio cassettes. 

Piniel Denga, the co-ordinator of the DRCs was raided at Flat Number 34 Alderbury Court, Harare and the police recovered 23 detonators; 53 10cm explosives and 112x400g cans of red spray paint. 

This is evidence that the MDC has a history of violence since its inception despite the fact that it claims to be a party in pursuit of democracy.

Even the party president confirmed this in his latest Agenda 2020 address.

Addressing paltry supporters at Stodart Grounds in Mbare this week, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa said his party will roll out protests against Government to push for a so-called ‘transitional authority’ to run the southern African nation.

“This year is going to be a year of demonstrations and action,” said Chamisa. 

It remains to be seen how responsible authorities will react if and when the MDC Alliance unleashes its wave of violence disguised as demonstrations once again.

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