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War veteran in terror campaign


A war veteran from Matobo is reportedly unleashing a wave of terror at Sizinda village in the district where he allegedly burnt two homesteads belonging to MDC-T supporters in a bid to force them to leave the area, claiming it “belongs” to Zanu PF.

The ex-freedom fighter also allegedly assaulted a kraal head in the district, NewsDay can reveal.

Abraham Khumalo is said to have started the campaign of terror on November 24 last year.

A report has been made to the police, but locals are unhappy with the manner in which the security forces are handling the matter.

Prior to that, MDC-T supporters in the area say the ex-freedom fighter was “preaching” that those loyal to dissenting voices should leave Ward 14 under which Sizinda village falls and “go and settle in Ward 13” where there is an MDC-T councillor. The councillor for Ward 14 is Venson Moyo of Zanu PF.

On Monday, police in Kezi confirmed receiving a report and said they were treating the matter as arson under case number 173/10. Khumalo was released after Kezi police declared him insane.

They are reported to have then later relented after Matobo constituency MDC-T Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa put pressure on them to investigate the matter.

Police have since said he will appear in court on Monday next week.

On the night in question, Khumalo allegedly went to Kapesi Thome’s homestead and burnt his two-roomed house.

“I feel a lot of pain because I have lost everything I have worked for. I had locked up all my belongings in the bedroom when I went to Bulawayo,” said 66-year-old Thome.

“I got a call to say that my home had been burnt down by Khumalo. He (Khumalo) has been going around saying he does not want MDC-T supporters in this area. I wonder if we do not have a right to live just like he has.”

After burning down Thome’s house, Khumalo reportedly proceeded to 75-year-old Samson Moyo’s homestead and found three children there, the eldest being a 13-year old boy who witnessed the event.

“He went to the bedroom where he set the roof on fire,” said the teenager. “When I saw him approaching our bedroom, I woke up my younger brothers and we escaped through an opening in the fence and went to seek refuge at the next homestead.”

Moyo said some of the valuables he lost in the inferno included a bed, a television set, a wardrobe, a table, chairs, blankets and a DVD player.

Khumalo then allegedly descended on fellow war veteran Micah Moyo’s homestead and broke all the windows in the four-roomed house using a log, accusing his colleague of being sympathetic to the MDC-T.

He then reportedly struck kraal head Ernest Hlongwane on the head using a log.

Hlongwane was hospitalised.

Hlongwane’s wife, Sinikiwe Dube, said she and her relatives managed to subdue Khumalo.

“He was very violent. It took us a while to effect a citizen’s arrest,” said Dube.

Senator Mlotshwa said Khumalo’s behaviour was meant to intimidate MDC-T supporters during the run-up to the elections, whose date has not yet been set.

Khumalo could not be reached for comment.

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