[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Zim murders; please assist jailed ZCTU leaders
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Jun 18 20:49:16 BST 2008
MDC Mayor’s wife found dead and ZESN observer murdered
By Tererai Karimakwenda
June 18, 2008
The dead body of the wife of MDC Councilor Emmanuel Chiroto, who was
elected Harare Mayor on Sunday, is reported to have been found at a
nearby farm on Tuesday. 27 year-old Abigail Chiroto had been abducted,
along with her 4 year-old son, by a gang of armed ZANU-PF thugs that
came looking for her husband on Monday. Chiroto was not home so they
petrol bombed his property before taking his family. The child was
dumped at Marlborough police station later that day, and the husband is
now in hiding.
Chiroto was the chief election agent for Trudy Stevenson, who was an MDC
parliamentary candidate in 2005. Stevenson said the security guards at
the house ran away when 2 twin cabs showed up without license plates.
“This is the death squad, and they were armed,” she added. The outspoken
MDC official said Chiroto’s wife was still blindfolded when her body was
found. She had tried to grab her child and run but was too slow and got
A report in The Telegraph newspaper on Tuesday quotes the Harare Mayor
as saying: "I knew when I heard that a woman's body had been found that
it was her."
Meanwhile, another murder was reported by the Zimbabwe Election Support
Network (ZESN). The group said they are outraged and saddened by the
‘brutal, calculated and cold blooded’ murder of Elliot Machipisa, a ZESN
observer in Karuru, Hurungwe. Machipisa and his family were attacked in
the morning on Tuesday. According to ZESN, the attack left his wife in
critical condition and hospitalised at Karuru Clinic. There had been
sustained threats of violence targeting all individuals living in the
area who acted as observers for ZESN in the March 29th elections. A
military style base was set up on the same day at Karuru Township and is
being manned by ZANU PF militia, commanded by war veterans.
Despite the presence of observers and a United Nations envoy in
Zimbabwe, the ruling party’s campaign of violence, abductions and
intimidation has not ended. We are receiving reports from all around the
country about ZANU-PF youth militia who are abducting suspected MDC
supporters and officials, and bringing them to designated bases where
they are beaten severely before being released.
John Ngorima, a 74 year-old farm caretaker and manager in Chiredzi, was
reportedly abducted on Tuesday afternoon by a group of about 9 people
who drove away with him in a white Mitsubishi pickup. Witnesses alleged
that the car was driven by Lieutenant Edson Ndhlovu. Ngorima was driven
over 20 kilometres from his home and was severely beaten by the group,
who accused him of voting for the MDC. But it turns out that Ngorima had
been unable to vote on March 29 because his name had been removed from
the voters’ role. He walked home in the dark with severe injuries.
Police were informed but no arrests have been made.
We received a report from Bikita, East of Masvingo that on June 9th the
youth militia attacked the councilor for ward 10, Wilson Mabhoko, and
his legs and ears were cut off. Chiredzi farmer Gerry Whitehead said
Mabhoko is being treated at Silveira Hospital. Once again, the police
have done nothing about the incident.
Takalani Matibe, the MDC MP for Chegutu West, on Wednesday reported that
dynamite was thrown into his house and he was threatened with death.
The strategy of abducting the relatives or close associates of intended
targets is now being used by state agents in an attempt to forcibly
obtain information about their whereabouts. The wives of at least 2 MDC
MPs were burned to death in the last month and many family members have
been abducted. More than 60 Zimbabweans have lost their lives in the
post-election violence perpetrated by thugs under the direction of the
Mugabe regime. It is believed that Mugabe wants to postpone the run-off
poll against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, using the violence as the excuse.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: If you support workers' rights, show your face
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 12:21:55 -0400
From: Eric Lee <ericlee at labourstart.org>
This is one of the most unusual trade union campaigns I've ever heard of
-- and I'm pretty excited by it. Please take a moment and read on.
Many of you will have heard that two leaders of Zimbabwe's embattled
trade union movement were arrested a few weeks ago on charges of
'spreading falsehoods prejudicial to the state' -- in other words,
*telling the truth*.
Next Monday, Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe, President and
General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, are going
back to court to face charges.
Unions around the world are organizing protests that day at Zimbabwe
embassies, and if you can attend or organize such an event that's great.
But there's something you can do /*right now*/ without getting up out of
The Trades Union Congress here in London is making a giant *photo
mosaic* of Lovemore and Wellington, using pictures of hundreds of their
supporters from around the world -- and they want to use *your photo* as
one tiny part of it.
They'll get this printed on a large banner in time for the London
demonstration on 23 June, and they'll make the image available to other
international demonstrations and to the media.
Please email a photo of your face to zim at tuc.org.uk
You can read more about this effort here
This is a last minute campaign, so we need to get your photos in
Thanks -- I know I can count on you.
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