Political violence victims recount horror ordeal
Victims of political violence in Matobo are still trying to come to terms with the physical and psychological trauma they suffered when they were attacked during a Citizens Coalition for Change meeting at a homestead in Ward 2.
Suspected Zanu PF members who were travelling party-branded vehicles besieged Thabani Nyathi’s homestead last week and assaulted CCC members who were holding a meeting.
They went on a rampage and destroyed window panes and damaged vehicles which belonged to CCC members.
When a CITE news crew visited the homestead on Saturday, one of the vehicles which had all its tires deflated was still parked in the yard and shards of broken glass were all over the yard.
Narrating the ordeal Nyathi who was CCC chief election agent for the party’s ward 2 candidate Sindiso Ngwenya, said the assailants who were travelling in more than 10 vehicles attacked them without provocation.
“We had a CCC meeting for polling agents, I am the chief agent, we were just few in that meeting, less than 20 and we had other members who came from Bulawayo who had mealie meal and wanted to deliver it to our members in Sinkamaswe.
“Some members left intending to deliver that mealie meal and unfortunately they didn’t find anyone there as they had gone to a rally,” said Nyathi.
She said the members were blocked by the Zanu-PF vehicles on their way back.
“They managed to escape and got here, within a few minutes, my child called me from the shop saying they have started looting, thus when Nonhlanhla, Precious and Kucaca Phulu left the homestead intending to rescue,” said Nyathi.
“The Zanu-PF 11 vehicles then came here and started beating people. I escaped and locked myself inside the house, but they managed to destroy the door and removed me from inside and started beating me. They tied me with a rope and I collapsed as I am suffering from diabetes and BP.”
Nyathi said the Zanu-PF members continuously kicked her in the stomach where she had an operation.
“Inside the house, there was a bag with US$1000 and R1000, they took the money and destroyed windows.”
After three days, Nyathi said she was visited by some suspected Zanu PF members while manning her shop.
They took her to her homestead and warned her not to divulge who attacked her home.
“We are suffering and trying to change our lives in rural areas. Even during ‘manuqonde’ they did the same thing. We are sleeping in the bush but we are not turning back and hope that God will favour us.”
Another victim, 28-year-old Sizani Khuphe whose hand was still visibly swollen, said the Zanu-PF members also undressed some women and were forced to run naked.
She said she had not yet received medical treatment as she only took painkillers.
“This experience is traumatizing us a lot, and I have not yet received medical treatment as I was telling myself that maybe I will get better.