MDC-T victims of alleged political violence have called for compensation from the party for what they lost in the countdown to last year’s presidential election run-off.
This comes amid reports of violence in the past two weeks in Masvingo, Mashonaland and the Midlands provinces after MDC-T supporters attempted to reclaim property seized from them by Zanu PF at the height of the election campaign.
Nelson Chamisa, MDC-T spokesperson and also Information Communication Technology minister, said the party’s social welfare department is responding to the calls for compensation.
Some of the victims who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent this week said they “took it upon themselves” to mete out instant justice and revenge on Zanu PF supporters because they felt that MDC-T had marginalised them.
In Bikita, Masvingo, MDC-T members were compiling names of party supporters who were victims of political violence who need compensation.
“We feel marginalised by our own party; they should have at least come to us and addressed our concerns,” Prosper Mesa, an MDC-T activist from Bikita said. “The leaders seem to be enjoying the perks up there while we continue to suffer. I lost my brother, my beasts and all my property for supporting this party, but what do I get in return, nothing.”
Mesa, who described himself as an MDC-T war veteran, said he ran away to Mutare during the run-off campaign after he was informed that Zanu PF militia were after him and left behind his wife and children in the custody of an elder brother, Ndindani.
Ndindani, Prosper claimed, was later beaten to death by Zanu PF youths after being accused of harbouring his brother.
The youths allegedly torched Ndindani’s two huts, destroyed property inside and slaughtered the only two beasts he had.
Chamisa said the party leadership was aware of the demands for compensation and has since prioritised the matter.
Chamisa said:Â “We have a social welfare department desk which deals with such matters and they are currently in the process of engaging all the stakeholders to see how best they can help the victims.
Â “A victims fund was also set up as a measure to help all those who were victimised in the run up, during and after the elections. We are responding to these issues and all the victims are going to be catered for.”
Chamisa called on his party supporters to desist from violence.
Â “We understand their plight but this party (MDC-T) does not believe in an eye for an eye philosophy. We also understand there is need for a justice mechanism that is reconstructive in national reconciliation so people should allow the law to be the adjudicator,” Chamisa said. “We have a competent police force and I believe they will look at such cases as soon as possible. But our supporters should desist from any kind of revenge tactics.”
BY HENRY MHARA