A group of Zanu-PF youth militants, one of whom was dressed in Zimbabwean army uniform and armed with an AK47 assault rifle, launched an attack on a village in the Mufusire area near Headlands in Manicaland Province.
from our correspondent in Harare
They attacked and severely injured Tafirenyika Gumare, the head of a family. His wife, Akulania Gumare, and son, Jacob Gumare were also assaulted and sustained injuries during the attack.
On witnessing the vicious assault neighbours responded and overpowered the attackers who fled and left the rifle behind. The villagers notified the police who arrived on the scene and took possession of the weapon, witnesses said.
The weapon was issued by the Zimbabwe National Army and has the following registration numbers: T144 (in red) ZA-40874 84M1503
Numerous other incidents of violence are reported to have taken place in this area which is in the constituency of Zanu-PF’secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, who is the Minister of State Security.
Headlands is approximately 140 kms east of Harare in the heart of a once thriving maize and tobacco-growing commercial farming area.
On Tuesday, the MDC said four more of its members had been killed by supporters of Mugabe in nearly a month of post-election violence that is being investigated by South African officials.
Shepherd Mushonga, an MDC member of Parliament for Mazowe Central, said four MDC members had been killed in Chiweshe, 100km north ofHarare, on Sunday night after being beaten by youth militia loyal to Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
Mushonga said that the youths went from door-to-door looking for MDC members and that several other people had been hospitalised with injuries following the attack.
It was not possible to immediately verify the report, which the MDC says brings to 24 the number of people from within its ranks killed in revenge attacks by mainly Zanu-PF youth militia and soldiers following Mugabe’s defeat in March parliamentary elections.
The MDC defeated Zanu-PF in the 210-seat House of Assembly. MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai also took more votes than 84-year-old Mugabe in the presidential election, but not enough for an outright win.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is expected to announce a date
for a run-off between the two leading candidates in the coming days.
Mugabe has said he will participate but Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, which insists he won decisively, has yet to announce whether their man will partake.
A senior MDC official said on Tuesday that Tsvangirai would contest the run-off but that the party wanted to bring international pressure to bear on Mugabe to rein in his supporters first.
The MDC claims Mugabe’s supporters want to brutalise people into supporting him in a second round.
A team of South African officials led by Local Government Minister Sydney
Mumafadi arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday night to investigate the violence.
They are already here and they are busy conducting wide-ranging
interviews. This is not going to be a selective process. They are going to
talk to all relevant players,” William Geerlings, first secretary at the
South African embassy in Harare, said.
The African Union were also due to discuss the Zimbabwean crisis at a two-day meeting in Tanzania’s northern town of Arusha starting Tuesday, the country’s Foreign Minister Bernard Membe confirmed.
Meanwhile, in a sign of the country’s deepening economic woes, the central bank on Tuesday introduced two new banknotes — a Z$100-million and a Z$250-million.
The new notes come barely a month after the Reserve Bank launched what has been until now the largest single note – Z$50-million.
With inflation now running at over 165 000%, Zimbabweans get little change out of two Z$50-million for a single loaf of bread.