AT least 20 MDC-T youths in Harare were seriously injured on Sunday after a group of suspected Zanu PF youths stormed a campaign rally in Kambuzuma and indiscriminately assaulted them.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
MDC-T provincial youth secretary Denford Ngadziore said 10 party supporters were hospitalised following the attacks, which came shortly after the opposition youths had threatened to launch a series of anti-government demonstrations this month.
He said before violence broke out, Zanu PF youths had made several attempts to disrupt the rally.
“After the MDC-T youths had managed to defend themselves, the Zanu PF youths, who were bussed from areas such as Kuwadzana, Chitungwiza, Machipisa and Mbare, came and indiscriminately assaulted people coming from the rally,” Ngadziore said.
“Twenty people were injured, eight were hospitalised and two of them are in a critical condition. What surprised us is that the police did nothing to contain the situation despite their heavy presence in the area.” He added that they would not retreat despite the violence.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said she was unaware of the incident.
MDC-T national spokesperson Obert Gutu accused Zanu PF of resorting to violence when it cannot keep up with political competition.
“The MDC-T condemns in the strongest terms these acts of wanton violence and thuggery that were unleashed on our innocent and peace-loving party cadres by some Zanu PF thugs and hoodlums in Kambuzuma on Sunday afternoon,” Gutu said.
Contacted for comment, Zanu PF Harare provincial youth chair Edson Takataka denied the charges and accused MDC-T supporters of launching an unprovoked attack on Zanu PF supporters.
“They are mad people. Instead of concentrating on their rally, those MDC-T people went on to loot several tuckshops and they also assaulted people, including children,” Takataka said.
“They did that twice, but our people didn’t fight back. I even went to the police to complain about MDC-T supporters’ behaviour. I want to give those people a strong warning that if they think they can fight us, then we will deal with them.”