MDC veterans lend a hand to violence victims

BULAWAYO - MDC Veteran Activists Association (Vaa) will this Sunday hand a two-roomed house near Mandamabwe Business Centre in rural Chivi built to compensate one of the thousands victims of Zanu PF’s ruthless campaign in 2000.

The house is the second to be constructed by a group of opposition activists who pioneered robust opposition to President Robert Mugabe’s uninterrupted rule.

In February, Vaa handed over a two-roomed house in the St Peters peri-urban suburb on the outskirts of Bulawayo to widowed Regina Ndlovu, whose homestead comprising eight thatched huts was razed by suspected Zanu PF youths during a bloody election campaign.

The politically-motivated blood-letting which resulted in the destruction through arson of hundreds of homes belonging to opposition party supporters left thousands of victims homeless.

Hundreds sought refuge at the MDC’s Harvest House headquarters in Harare as Zanu PF apparatchiks unleashed a terror campaign in rural Zimbabwe in 2008. The atrocities drew regional and international condemnation.

Vaa national organising secretary Khumbulani Sibanda said the modest house built by his organisation with the help of the community will be commissioned at an event presided by MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai is scheduled to officiate at a commemoration event of victims of political violence scheduled for Saturday at the National Sports Centre.

“We are moving ahead with our programme to build houses for victims of political violence and are targeting to initially build a house for these victims in each of the 12 provinces, to show them that we still value their contribution in their quest for a better and more democratic Zimbabwe,” Sibanda said.

“It is a tangible and enduring way of showing this appreciation for those who sacrificed for their support of the MDC.”

In August, Vaa is scheduled to commission another house in the Berejena area of Chivi which the organisation helped to complete for Tichaona Chiminya’s mother.

Chiminya and Talent Mabika allegedly died at the hands of CIO operatives led by Joseph Mwale who torched their car outside Murambinda Business Centre in rural Buhera during the 2000 election campaign. The operatives have never been brought to book.

Mwale and his fellow accomplice, independence war combatant, Kainos “Kitsiyatota” Zimunya, were identified as having petrol bombed a vehicle driven by Chiminya and Mabika. Both activists were campaigning in Buhera for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the run-up to parliamentary elections in 2000.

Then High Court Judge James Devitte ordered Mwale to be brought to trial for the murders. But efforts by former Manicaland prosecutor Levison Chikafu, to bring Mwale to justice, were frustrated.

Sibanda said Vaa treasurer-general Tapiwa Mashakada and deputy secretary-general James Makore among other party bigwigs are expected to attend.

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