An eighteen-year-old girl from Norton was allegedly stripped, beaten and harassed by alleged Zanu PF youths in the presence of the ruling party’s candidate, Ronnie Chindedza, as cases of political violence escalate ahead of the by-election set for October 22.
In the Saturday incident, that was reported to the police under RRB number 2958856, Natasha Bakalia — whose mother is a campaigner for independent candidate Temba Mliswa — said she was dragged from her home, thrown in a lorry that was packed with Zanu PF youths and taken to a base where she was violently abused until nightfall.
Sobbing during a press conference in Harare yesterday, the girl said the youths repeatedly told her that she was paying for the sins of her mother Ronika Nyikadzino.
“Two lorry trucks and an Ipsum plastered with Zanu PF posters and Zanu PF activists arrived at our house singing “Temba uchaurayisa vana” (Temba you will cause deaths).
“Two youth members grabbed my clothes and tore them as I tried to stop them from getting inside our house because they were saying they wanted to throw out my mother’s property from the house,” Bakalia narrated.
“After they had overpowered me, they made me strip and change clothes in front of them, I know these three men, and they carried me to the lorry.
They took me to their base in Ngoni where Ronnie and Yondo sister (Sheila Mabasa) and other members were and I was further assaulted as they surrounded me, singing and beating me. I was forced to wear a Zanu PF T-shirt.
“They then released me after 8pm, but did not return our house keys, and now we are having to sleep at a friend’s house. And after the incident they are still coming making rounds at the house we sought shelter.
In the police report, Priscilla Jambaya and Samantha Zhakata, who are said to be Zanu PF loyalists were also named as perpetrators of violence.,
In a related incident, another supporter of Mliswa, Violet Maskini and her husband were also assaulted.
At the same press conference, which was attended by war veterans and National reform Agenda (Nera) convener Didymus Mutasa, Mliswa accused Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and other senior officials of fanning political violence.
“As the Norton Zanu PF candidate, Ronnie Chindedza is compelled by the Electoral Code of Conduct under Section 7(2) to ‘restrain his representatives and supporters, from contravening this code and any applicable electoral or general law, and must take or initiate appropriate disciplinary action against those who contravene this code or that law,” Mliswa said.
“The case of abduction of the girl-child is a matter that I would like to bring to the attention of the first lady (Grace) Mugabe and hear her sentiments on the matter