An MDC-T activist, Ayaya Kassim, sustained severe facial burns after a group he identified as Zanu PF youths, trailed him to his friend’s home in Mbare and allegedly scalded him with hot cooking oil on Wednesday afternoon.
Scalding is a burn to the skin or flesh caused by moist heat and hot vapours such as steam. Kassim, who is MDC-T youth chairperson for Ward 11 in Mbare, is recovering at a city hospital where his condition is reportedly stable.
Narrating his ordeal from the hospital bed yesterday, Kassim, who was writhing in pain, said: “I had come from the market with two of my colleagues when I thought of going to my friend’s place to while up time in the afternoon.
“Three Zanu PF youths stormed my friend’s place and started interrogating him about my whereabouts. They eventually spotted me and started beating me up. They then poured hot cooking oil onto my face as I attempted to flee.”
Kassim said the group ran after him for a while before they gave up.
The party yesterday claimed it had reported the matter at Stodart Police Station although no arrests had been made yet.
However, Zanu PF provincial youth chairperson Jim Kunaka said: “I always tell you that in our vocabulary, we do not have that word of violence. As a revolutionary party, we do not engage in violence. We do what the leader of our party tells us. President Robert Mugabe, who is the first secretary of Zanu PF, said ‘No’ to violence and we follow that as we are principled people. I do not know what their (MDC-T) problem is because there is no one who can just be attacked from nowhere.”
But MDC-T national youth spokesperson Clifford Hlatshwayo condemned the attack and urged tolerance among supporters of different political persuasions.
He said: “Zanu PF is making Mbare a no-go area, but we are going to make it a free zone. We are greatly concerned by the inhuman and rowdy behaviour displayed by Zanu PF supporters. It only shows that Zanu PF is a terrorist party which is fond of causing bloodshed; practically, guns are out for the MDC-T and it is clear.”