MDC-Alliance’s orgy of violence

20 Jan, 2019 - 00:01 0 Views
MDC-Alliance’s orgy of violence

The Sunday Mail

Harmony Agere

Around 8am on Tuesday, Lewis Marimo (not his real name) dodges a pelt of stones as he navigates a makeshift barricade at the intersection of High Glen Road and First Street near Kuwadzana, Harare.

Behind, in feisty pursuit, is a pack of marauding hoodlums throwing stones, waving wooden sticks and shouting obscenities. Putting a foot wrong would result in Marimo losing his vehicle and even his life.

Ngaarohwe (let’s beat him),” bellowed a rumbling voice in the madding crowd.

By sheer luck, the middle-aged banker and father-of-two, somehow managed to escape before he, or the car, could be harmed. This had been his second failed attempt in two days to leave the township in search of medical and food supplies for his family.

But he was grounded.

He belongs to a huge population of township residents across the country whose lives were turned upside-down between Monday and Wednesday.

Well-coordinated units of violent criminals seized control of the streets, forcing everyone to stay at home under the guise of a national stay-away.

Those who defied the orders were promptly beaten to set an example for those who had plans to go to work, school or attend to any of their day-to-day business.

However, it was not staying in their homes which was the hardest part for the victims.

It was the sight of starving children and the sick wreathing in pain helplessly which was unbearable for many.

“These have been three of the most difficult days of my life since I was born,” Marimo later narrated his ordeal.

“All the shops here were closed and I nearly lost my life while trying to get something to eat for my children.

“My mother constantly needs dialysis and she had an appointment on Wednesday but we were stuck with her because all the roads were closed.”

Marimo said he had no option but to risk his life as he attempted to get some supplies for his family and his ailing mother. Another resident, a mother-of-three, who declined to be identified said the situation left them distraught.

“We had not anticipated that people would be forced to stay at home,” she said.

“We thought the stay away and demonstration were supposed to be one’s choice. We ended up buying just four tomatoes for just a dollar.

“There was virtually no bread and mealie meal and those who were brave enough to sell anything did so at exorbitant prices.”

Small business owners and vendors were not spared as their workstations, shops and stalls were either vandalised or looted.

A survey conducted by The Sunday Mail revealed that public transport operators lost a significant amount of business while schools lost a chunk of learning time.

Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, told a Press conference last week that school children could no longer be kept hostage as this could be detrimental to the country’s future.

“Given the fear that was instilled in school authorities and parents when violent thugs attacked schools, most schools remained closed,” he said.

“However, parents are urged to let their children attend school tomorrow as Government has put in place the necessary safeguards to ensure that the safety of children and our valuable teachers is guaranteed. The future of our nation cannot be disturbed any further.”

With intermittent internet connection, some could not purchase electricity tokens after they ran out of the commodity. It became a double tragedy as people failed to use firewood as alternative source of power because of the incessant rains.

As the security details managed to cool off things on Wednesday, most shops opened on Thursday and long queues quickly emerged as most people had run out of food.

The shopping spree that ensued showed that people had been held hostage by the three-day mayhem.

Mr Mangwana also assured the nation that things had returned to normalcy.

“As at today (Thursday), there is a peace, calm and normalcy across the country,” he said.

“People were exercising their freedom of movement as there was increased vehicle and human traffic countrywide,” he said.

“Citizens were conducting their daily business without hindrance as there is maximum security in and around the country.

“The few people that remained holed up in their homes and the few business that remained shut out of fear if the marauding demonstrators are encouraged to join the majority of our people since their security is guaranteed.”

Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Cde Cain Mathema, warned the criminals that the wheels of justice will catch up with them.

“We want to express appreciation to members of the public who have alerted the ZRP of criminals who have in their possession stolen property,” he said.

“We urge you to continue reporting about these greedy and callous individuals to your nearest police stations.”

Police statistics say about 700 hooligans have been charged with crimes ranging from arson, barricading roads, looting, violence and attempted murder in the wake of the demonstrations. Midlands has the highest number of people arrested at 196, Harare (181), Bulawayo (104), Mashonaland West (86), Manicaland (80), Mashonaland East (21) and Mashonaland Central (16).

 

Share This: