MASVINGO – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife, Elizabeth, expressed shock coming face to face with victims of politically-motivated violence in Masvingo.
The daughter of a Zanu PF central committee member who had accompanied her husband to visit political violence victims, Elizabeth said she was dismayed at the level of violence and cruelty inflicted on MDC supporters.
The 35-year-old last weekend visited MDC supporters who had their homesteads destroyed and petrol bombed allegedly by Zanu PF activists in Zaka recently.
Elizabeth could not stomach the pain when she saw 72-year-old Nelson Bvudzijena lying in a hospital bed and nursing petrol bomb-induced injuries at St Antony’s Musiso Mission Hospital.
“What kind of people are they? Who even attacks such old people? This is cruelty, I cannot believe this,” she exclaimed as she moved to take a closer look at his injuries.
Tsvangirai and Elizabeth also visited MDC party offices at Jerera Growth Point where two activists were burnt to death.
Tsvangirai paid respects at the grave of Crison Mbano, who was burnt in the office after men suspected to be armed soldiers broke in and forced him and four others to lie down before dousing 20 litres of petrol and setting them ablaze.
The three survivors of the Jerera attack, Edison Gwenhure, Isaac Mbano and Kudakwashe Tsumele narrated their ordeal to Elizabeth.
She said she could not understand why Zanu PF activists attacked elderly people for supporting a party of their choice.
She said this after visiting an MDC councillor Innocent Chipisa and John Chebanga, both over 70 years old.
They lost their houses and properties worth thousands of dollars in 2008.
“I really cannot understand this and why they targeted such old people who deserve to be respected,” she said, shaking her head at the sight of the ruins that used to be Chebanga’ home.
Tsvangirai promised that his party would rebuild “every house” destroyed in political violence while those who were beaten up would be compensated.
“We have toured houses that were destroyed in 2008 and I want to tell you that we will give you back your houses. We will rebuild the houses so that you will have your shelter back and live comfortably,” he said.
Tsvangirai later donated groceries and blankets to over 30 victims of political violence before proceeding to Rutenga where he addressed a memorial rally.
He said his party will be visiting every district to assess the damage.
“Zanu PF took 17 years to compensate war veterans because as a party it did not have the money. So it then used government money in 1997 and we will also compensate our own heroes and heroines of the second revolution when we get in power,” he said.