Skip to comments.Harare descends into chaos as ZANU PF militia loot shops
Posted on 02/07/2011 1:10:29 PM PST by vikingd00d
Harare came to a standstill on Monday when a ZANU PF mob engulfed the city in chaos, destroying property worth thousands of dollars, mainly belonging to foreign owned companies.
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us that dozens of shops were looted when the ZANU PF militia went on a rampage, as police details stood by watching ordinary people and shop owners being abused and brutalised. Shops belonging to Zimbabweans were also caught up in the crossfire.
The attacks on foreign nationals could easily be construed as xenophobic, according to our correspondent. Muchemwa said the mob, dressed in ZANU PF regalia, were chanting revolutionary and party songs and did not try to hide their identity. The marchers were carrying banners aimed against foreigners. Some of them read; No to foreigners controlling our economy and Foreigners, sanctions have destroyed our economy so we want to control our wealth.
Muchemwa went on to say; They wore ZANU PF t-shirts, they were singing ZANU PF songs and waving ZANU PF flags. The group assembled in Mbare where they were bused to the party district offices along 4th Street. From there they were driven through the city in trucks, passing through the MDC-T headquarters where they chanted anti-Tsvangirai and MDC slogans. It was in downtown Harare where the mob left a trail of destruction when they besieged the Gulf shopping mall. The complex houses mainly Nigerian and Democratic Republic of Congo businesses.
The mob also attacked newspaper vendors selling the independent daily, Newsday, and destroyed large numbers of the paper and business in town came to a standstill as the militia stopped a number of cars along the way and demanded that passersby join them.
At the Gulf complex, the militia looted goods and property and attacked people while the police did nothing to stop them.Muchemwa said.
Our correspondent observed that members of the CIO were seen giving instructions to the youth and directing which routes they should take. He said the attack on the capital was planned, because most of the perpetrators were given ample time to loot their goods and escape.
There were vans and Kombis that whisked the looters away from the Gulf complex. The CIO operatives held back the riot police until almost all the mob had left, Muchemwa said.
The militia is using Mbare as a launching pad for most of the attacks centered on the capital. The rowdy militia, led by the Mbare based Chipangano youth, are housed at Carter House, a Harare city council boarding facility that has been taken over by ZANU PF.
Meanwhile the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) also issued a statement condemning the ZANU PF mobs which attacked newspaper vendors selling the independent daily Newsday on Monday.
The VMCZ notes with serious concern that this unwarranted intimidation of Newsday vendors is undemocratic and inimical to freedom of expression. It is our considered view that where citizens are against contents of a publication, or a media house, they should seek recourse either through the Media Complaints Committee under the auspices of VMCZ, the statement said.
The statement added that it was important that newspaper vendors, journalists and media publishing houses be allowed to continue their professional duties without any hindrance.
Mondays attacks were just part of the ongoing violent campaign in Harare. On Saturday ZANU PF youths attacked several MDC activists in Mbare and left five of them seriously injured. The MDC MP for Mbare, Piniel Denga, said he believes his constituency has been earmarked as the nerve centre because of its links to all major transport routes in Zimbabwe.
On Saturday the political parties condemned the violent clashes pitting ZANU PF supporters against MDC activists.
In a rare joint statement by rival parties, including the breakaway faction of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, the Harare provincial leaders called for an end to political violence and urged the police to take action against the perpetrators.
We agreed that what is happening in Harare is not good for our country and is completely against the spirit of the global political agreement signed by our leaders. We believe it is within our power to stop the violence, which poses a threat to the lives of our people, the joint statement said.
Last Friday, co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone told us that if Robert Mugabe gave instructions to the police to act decisively on violence it will end instantaneously.
If the Head of State was to address the nation following such serious political disturbances and order the police to arrest the perpetrators, all this evil will come to an end without a doubt, Makone said.
Its long past time the goon was sent packing
WE WANT PIE!...WE WANT PIE!...WE WANT PIE!...YES, WE CAN!....
I totally agree (he said ruefully)
If we only moved UN HQ there, all would be fine.
Stop the cycle of violence I say. /s
And they were chanting Jiiiimy, Jiiiimy, Jiiiimy...
Which one? pixaderry Barry-pf or zimbabwe bob-pf?
I still believe it would be a great object lesson if the UN headquarters were to be moved from NYC to Harare.
That’ll sure give the economy a good boost.
Today Zimbabwe, tomorrow Aztlan.