This is a collection of real-life stories by people who bore witness and experienced the trauma of Zanu pf’s violent response to the people of Zimbabwe’s overwhelming vote for Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (“the MDC”), as it was then.
June 27 2018 marked 10 years after Zanu Pf unleashed untold terror on the electorate who sympathized and voted for the MDC. The terror crusade was led by Mugabe’s Chief Election agent Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, now the current President, with the assistance of the state security apparatus including the army. The police, under instructions from the hierarchy, turned a blind eye to the reports of the violence. This led to Zanu Pf’s militia and its grand coalition with state security agents to descend on helpless and defenseless citizens with impunity.
Below are unedited and concise narrations of victims and relatives by those who experienced this violence first hand.
This compilation is by no means exhaustive of all the stories, many stories are remain untold. To all those who shared their stories, no doubt it was not easy, thank you for your courage and I have no doubt it will inspire others to share theirs as well. It can only be hoped that perhaps only then can true healing take place.
Willy Wonka @JohnDoeZW
- Dr V Chimhutu @DrVChimhutu https://twitter.com/DrVChimhutu
- Mugwagwa Trust@HonMugwagwaT https://twitter.com/HonMugwagwaT
- Protesting graduate @TKMRushwaya https://twitter.com/TKMRushwaya
- Willson P Chivhanga @WChivhanga https://twitter.com/WChivhanga
- Povo News Africa @Povonewsafrica https://twitter.com/povonewsafrica
- Lili @zimflower
- DocLaw @DocLAWO https://twitter.com/DocLAWO
- Stanmash @slums_summit https://twitter.com/slums_summit
- @ChefNyakasikana https://twitter.com/ChefNyakasikana
- Please note that the narrations are not for the faint hearted and the pictures are gruesome.
HOW THEY KILLED MUTOMBENI ZIYAVO, A THREAD
1/14 Yesterday I posted that my neighbour Mr. Mutombeni Ziyavo was killed for refusing to go to a “pungwe” & some1 accused me of lying. Here’s how it went down 👇.
2/14 In June, a group of ZANU PF youths from Zaka came & 2k base in Gaths Mine Mashava where they conducted a series of night gatherings known as pungwes so as to “re-orient” the pple who had been “lost” 2 the MDC. It was a must 4 every adult in the area 2 attend these gatherings
3/14 One fateful night, Mr. Mutombeni who was working in Lennox Mine & staying in the compound of the same was on a night shift & couldn’t there4 make it to pungwe. This was to be his last mistake. He was to pay for it with his life.
4/14 But his major mistake was to be a known MDC supporter. The youths were there4 here mainly 4 pple like him & this was to be an opportunity to “teach” him some lessons of life, or death as it was to be.
5/14 A group of youths was quickly gathered 2 go & fetch him. They drove in a ZRP Mashava police base “santana” which they were using 4 their activities and rushed to Lennox Mine compound.
6/14 When they arrived at Baba Love’s place (as he was popularly known in our village, which was his village of origin) they found him prepared. After continuously knocking at his door & getting no response, they decided to break the door. They couldn’t waste no time.
7/14 As you may know, if you force a door open, you may find yourself lying on the floor in the house especially if the door breaks earlier than you had anticipated. This was the case for one Mutambisi who was part of the gang that had gone to fetch Mutombeni.
8/14 Before he knew anything, Mutambisi found an axe deep struck into his head & the holder of the axe was Mutombeni himself. There was pandemonium as pple ran outwards for safety.
9/14 Mutombeni pulled Mutambisi’s half dead body outwards & closed the door. Now these youths had to find a plan.
10/14 While others rushed Mutambisi to Gaths Mine Hospital, the other youths gathered dry grass & plastic while making sure Mutombeni does not escape.
11/14 A plan was hatched to go up the roof, open up a roofing sheet & throw burning grass & throw melt plastic @ Mutombeni from the top.
12/14 Mutombeni found himself under siege. Plastic and smoke from grass were to be his guests. The whole house turned into a black cloud.
13/14Soon he fell unconscious. They pulled him out 2k him to the base & continued with the torture, especially angered by news that Mutambisi had died upon admission @ hospital. All his hair, public & pubic was burnt using lit plastic while a shock-stricken crowd watched helplessly
14/14 Mutombeni died during the torture and was buried in his village of origin, my village also which is Nzviyo village in Ward 8 Chivi District where he lies to this day. No arrests have been made as yet. We remember him & all those who died at the hands of ZANU PF in 2008.
#Remembering2008: My Story @TKMRushwaya
I was in Form 3 at Holy Cross Mission in Chirumhanzu. School had closed on 26 June. ZANUPF militia mounted roadblocks on the road from my school to Chaka business center so instead with a bunch of friends we decided to walk.
We used to call walking ‘Long March’ as the distance was about 18km in total to the main road. We were about 30 or so. Those who know Chirumhanzu very well, Muwani had the mother base and some of us were to witness one of the horrendous activities of the Junta
The commander instructed us to halt and stand according to where we come from; Harare, Gweru Bulawayo Masvingo in that order. Of no reason I took the Masvingo line although I was going to Harare. We were only 4 on the Masvingo line which means 26 of my colleagues where in for it. All those from Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare got some heavy canning. On top of that they were told to roll in the cold gravel for about 30 or so meters. Masvingo was spared; well I had indicated that I was going to Zimuto which was in Masvingo North and ZANU had won that seat.
This is what the base commander said after torturing our colleagues
“Go tell your parents, your brothers and sisters that what they did in March takazviona (we saw it) (Voting MDC). This is what will happen to them the day after tomorrow (28 June) if they repeat themselves”.
I was struck with shock and disbelief that innocent souls had been subjected to this kind of inhumane treatment. From Muwani to Chaka there’s a distance of about 5-6km. It ended as a silent March. At Chaka we prayed that we get home alive and hopefully see each other again
When I got home, I thought maybe I had seen the worst. Stories of long sleeve short sleeve, burning plastic on a naked body, petrol bombed came from many angles. At first I thought they were lies until I saw a victim with body burns.
June 2008 was one year that our people suffered at the hands of the Junta steered by Chiwenga Rugeje Bonyongwe Chihuri Mugabe Mnangagwa Mohadi et al. One day we will get closure.
Willson P Chivhanga @WChivhanga
1) REMEMBERING 2008
In the morning of this day in 2008, my father, an MDC parliamentary candidate for Chivi Central, received information from a family friend in the ‘CIO’ of a planned attempt on his life! #Remembering2008
2) REMEMBERING 2008
Prior to this, we had witnessed countless opposition activists from my dad’s constituency brutally attacked. Some had, been burnt, lost limbs, hands and others homes. Our home in Masvingo had turned into a mini ‘refugee centre’ #Remembering2008
3) REMEMBERING 2008
When he got the tip 2 flee for his life, my dad’s initial reaction was to shrug it off – he couldn’t leave when the people needed him to lead. We had to persuade him to at least leave the house & check in at a local hotel for security reasons #Remembering2008
4) I called a local hotel 2 make a booking for him. As Providence would have it, an ex high school classmate of mine was the front desk agent who picked up the phone. When she realized it was me, she abruptly ended the call & said she would call me back #Remembering2008
5) A few minutes later, she called from another number. What she said next shocked me! “Willson, please advise your dad not to come here. Some suspicious looking men just checked in and one of them asked me if knew a ‘Henry Chivhanga’? #Remembering2008
6) This sounded like a script off a movie – hitmen had checked into the same local hotel my dad was about to check into! I told my dad what had happened, and for the first time, I saw real fear in his eyes. The threat was real. #Remembering2008
7) Without wasting any time, my parents made a decision that we should leave the country. The challenge now was getting our hands on cash – remember this was the era of billions. After a few hours, we got enough cash to facilitate travel #Remembering2008
8) The family friend in the intelligence called again and advised that we leave our car behind and anything traceable. So around 6pm, we left our home, each carrying just a satchel & with money to last a couple of days & no back up #Remembering2008
9) My siblings were 15 and 9 at the time and we all had to leave school. We hitch hiked our way in the back of a bakkie to Zvishavane in the cold winter night and spent a very cold night on the bus terminus pavement #Remembering2008
10) We would only learn many months later that the ‘hitmen’ raided our house later the same evening we had left, only to find us gone! Thank God for the people who helped us escape and along the way #Remembering2008
11) After two days of rough travel, we finally made it to the Botswana border. Thankfully, the Botswana government was sympathetic to our cause and was quite welcoming. We were taken to an Asylum centre in Francistown to await further interviews #Remembering2008
12) The center was housed in a prison facility & we got there to find hundreds of fellow Zimbabweans there. Every one of them had a horrendous story to tell. I was only 19 then & this experience & the stories scarred me for life #Remembering2008
13) After a month at the center, we were thankfully granted asylum and relocated to Gaborone whilst our fellow countrymen were sent to the Dukwi refugee camp – their lives never to be the same again. Luckily, we had a chance at a bit of normalcy in Gaborone #Remembering2008
14) To cut the long story short, the UN housed us and we had to fend for ourselves. The next few years were hard, emotionally straining but thank God we pulled through. But the scars of the experience remain. Being a refugee is not easy! #Remembering2008
15) Back home, we lost almost everything we owned – a farm, our transport business and my mom’s fruit & vegetable shop! For security reasons we could not come back until 2012 when the situation had improved. Our lives had to restart all over again #Remembering2008
16) 2008 was not a joke! People lost their lives and livelihoods. Lives were changed forever. Yesterday political parties signed the #PeacePledge. As a victim of violence, I pray that this is not ‘all talk and no action’. We can’t have another 2008 #Remembering2008
17) As for the perpetrators of violence in 2008 and those who illegally invaded our farm and caused untold suffering to my family, I FORGIVE YOU, but will not forget. The scars are too big to ignore! #Remembering2008 #NoToViolence
@Povonewsafrica Thread with pictures (Not for sensitive viewers)
#Remembering2008 Zim lady explains how she was raped & tortured by Zimbabwean soldiers for supporting the late Morgan Tsvangirai during the 2008 elections:
Dr. Victor Chimhutu @DrVChimhutu
LEST WE FORGET
Many ZANU-PF heavyweights had already vacated their offices paving way for a PEOPLE’s gvt.
Here is ED testifying he engineered ZANU-PF’s comeback, subverting the will of the people. As usual he used the MILITARY
1/2 The people’s President #Tsvangirai (RIP) is revealing here that #Mugabe was prepared to stepdown & had agreed to do so. ONLY for the hardliners #Mnagangwa & #Chiwenga to refuse and effected the 2008 #softcoup
What followed after the hardliners refused to hand-over power is something that the people of #Zimbabwe will never forget. The army under #Chiwenga murdered, raped, killed, mutilated…read #Remembering2008 for horrifying first-hand accounts.
On June 16 2008, ZANU-PF supporters attacked the home of Harare’s Deputy Mayor and MDC Councilor for Ward 42, Emamnuel Chiroto, and took away his wife, Abigail. On June 18, her burned body was found on a nearby farm. #Remembering2008
Tonderai Ndira was abducted by @zanupf_patriots hooligans in May 2008 & his body was found with a gunshot to the heart, with multiple stab wounds, his eyes gouged, his tongue cut out, and his neck, skull, jaw and knuckles broken #Remembering2008
#Remembering2008 My Story
I was a 4th yr. medical student on my way from the main library@ UZ going to ZOU residence, met up with the militia as I got to the school of medicine around 8pm. They didn’t even ask questions, they just started assaulting me, left me for dead.
The reason I’ll never vote the Demon that is ZanuPf. My uncle, a headmaster at a school in Mutoko, was brutally murdered 3days after the 2008 elections. Here is what happened.
The school was done counting the ballots. MDC under Tsvangirai had won. As the school head, uncle was one of the first to know. They sang and celebrated. He rushed home to tell his wife and 2children. Word travelled quick. And there was joy in that street.
The following day uncle went back to work but never returned home. His office door was open. His bag on the door. Something seemed wrong. For 2 days Sekuru was missing. In those 2days long sleeve/short sleeve was introduced by the Zanu thugs. People were dying, going missing.
Zimbabwe was in a lot of terror. I remember we couldn’t even talk politics in our homes because everyone thought Zanu Thugs could hear us. They were everywhere. Anyone wearing Zanu Regalia was dangerous, armed and ruthless.
Anyway on the 3rd day uncle was found in a ditch close to the school. His privates had been burnt with what looked like plastic, he looked like he’d been electrocuted several times. He had fingers missing. He had plastic bag covering his head.
Gogo could only identify him because of a childhood scar he had on his left toe. Word of his death travelled. People gathered at his house in Mutoko. But people weren’t allowed to cry. Remember when war vets had just gotten Mahindra trucks? They parked outside
Some in their Zanu T-shirt came in and sat pamoto with the men. They looked everyone in the eye and dared you to say anything or even cry. We left Mutoko that afternoon and they followed us at a distance until we were out of Mutoko.
My aunt died 3months later from a stress related illness. And here’s is why folks, Zanu won’t ever have my vote. Think of the many other families that went through this. Think of people like #itaiDzamara. Zanu is an organization of Devils. Vote wisely.