Zanu-PF dumps arrested cadres


The violent activists have now been abandoned by their party and are failing to pay the compensation as ordered by a court.
Wellington Chitehwe, alias Cde John, Anywhere Mavhangira, Phillip Magaso, Jonathan Chinyani and Garikai Matsambira are in jail serving 44 months each for various acts of political violence.
Twelve months of the sentence was suspended on condition that they paid $240 each as restitution to MDC district chairman for Bindura North, Tongai Jack.
The activists detroyed a house belonging to Jack and looted his property on December 7 2008, the day when Zanu-PF political commissar Elliot Manyika died in a road accident.
The jailed activists failed to meet the May 31 payment deadline, only managing to pay $250 among them and were back in court last Monday where they asked for and were granted an extension of the grace period.
They were given up to June 30 to pay the balance.
They have since written to Jack begging for forgiveness promising never to be involved in political violence again.
The gang accused top Zanu- PF officials in Bindura of inciting them to violence and dumping them when they needed help.
“We are very sorry for what we did to you,” reads the letter which was written in Shona.
“We have managed to raise only $250 but we promise to pay up the balance. Our families are struggling to raise the money as our party Zanu-PF has abandoned us.
“No one in the party is interested in us any longer. Governor (Martin) Dinha has also refused to help us saying the party has no money,” wrote the jailed men.
NewsDay visited Jack in Bindura at the weekend. He recounted several gruesome incidents where he had missed death by a whisker at the hands of his political rivals.
Jack said the five activists had become a terror in Bindura.
“They are linked to the death of at least two people in this area, one of whom they shot and a woman whom they forced to sit on a fire, roasting her alive.
“She died of her injuries a few days after the ordeal,” said Jack.
The woman referred to by Jack is Irene Runzirwayi, a local MDC official who was burnt alive on June 11 2008 following the MDC victory in the March 27 harmonised elections. Her daughter Elina Zacharia recalled how her mother was forced to sit on a fire while kicking and screaming. She was taken to Chitungwiza South Medical Hospital where she later died.
Jack said he was prepared to forgive his attackers if their apologies were genuine. He said the letter written by Wellington Chitehwe on behalf of his colleagues had been handed to him by prison officers when he went to collect the restitution money last Monday. “From the tone of their letter, it appears they genuinely regret the things they were made to do by their party. When they come out of prison, we will see if they have really reformed and only then will I be able to forgive them,” Jack said. Jack said the five had spearheaded a reign of terror in Bindura and were always protected by their political masters. The law could not touch them and when they were arrested, they were released on “orders from above”. Jack bears many ugly scars. He was at one time stabbed with a spear in the stomach and he also survived an attempt to hack off his private parts. It had become routine that every Independence Day, Jack’s house was attacked by the same Zanu-PF activists, he said.
“So every year I knew I had to repair the house and buy new window panes,” he said. Zanu-PF has come out in the open saying it would not assist those that may be arrested for political violence.