Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Manyika inciting violence
MUTARE – President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party has embarked on a campaign reminiscent of that launched during the run up to the Rwandan genocide in 1994 as it desperately tries to hang on to power on June 27.
Senior Zanu PF leaders are inciting their party supporters, in pre-Rwandan genocide style, to be on the lookout of opposition supporters within their communities.
Leaders and supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are being denounced and labeled “sellouts and “traitors”.
Eliot Manyika, the Zanu PF secretary for the commissariat, told villagers at Chinyauhwera Business Centre, 22miles south of Mutare City that their party supporters should be on the lookout for “sellouts” and “traitors” who wanted to give back the country to former colonizer, Britain.
Manyika is in charge of the Zanu PF sub-committee for mobilization.
"You should be on the lookout for traitors,” Manyika said. “They are among us. We have enemies all around us".
Hours after Manyika’s rally Zanu F supporters and a group of men in army uniforms moved from homestead to homestead in Chigodora and Chitakatira villages attacking MDC activists and burning their houses.
About six top activists in the villages were taken to hospital in Mutare after sustaining serious injuries. Some of the affected were only identified as Mwedzi and Mutsoto.
About three teachers at Matika Primary School were also forced to flee their station after they were threatened by Zanu PF activists. The teachers participated in a voter education campaign during the run-up to the March 29 polls. They were confronted by Zanu PF activists led by a woman identified only as Mrs Mangirazi and accused to misleading villagers to vote for the MDC. The teachers are now staying in Mutare.
Chigodora, Chitakatira and Matika villages are in Mutare South which was won by a Zanu PF candidate, Fred Kanzama.
Manyika’s calls at Chinyauhwera Business Centre for Zanu PF to be the lookout for so called sellouts and traitors is similar to how former leaders in Rwanda incited ethnic tension in the tiny and impoverished central African country during the run – up to the 1994 genocide which left about one million Rwandans dead.
The campaign was targeted at the minority Tutsis and the politically moderate Hutus, from the majority ethnic group. However, several former leaders who encouraged and incited ethnic tension in Rwanda have been convicted for crimes against humanity by an international tribunal sitting in Arusha, Tanzania. Others are still being tried.
Manyika said villagers should be on the lookout for MDC supporters because the MDC was being used by whites to "re-colonise" Zimbabwe.
"The whites found out that Tsvangirai is a willing tool and are using him to re-colonise the country. Now that we have our independence, we are forgetting what we went through during the armed colonial era and today some are saying we want Tsvangirai who wants to return the country to the whites."
"Tsvangirai ran away during the liberation struggle and today the whites are using him to cause confusion in the country."