Friday, July 11, 2008

Robert Mugabe's militia burn opponent’s wife alive

From The Times
June 12, 2008

The men who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the day, and the men departed.

An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the door and threw a petrol bomb through the window.

The killing last Friday – one of the most grotesque atrocities committed by Robert Mugabe’s regime since independence in 1980 – was carried out on a wave of worsening brutality before the run-off presidential elections in just over two weeks. It echoed the activities of Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader in the Sierra Leone civil war that ended in 2002, whose trade-mark was to chop off hands and feet.

Mrs Chipiro, 45, a former pre-school teacher, was the second wife of a junior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) burnt alive last Friday by Zanu (PF) militiamen. Pamela Pasvani, the 21-year-old pregnant wife of a local councillor in Harare, did not suffer mutilation but died later of her burns; his six-year-old son perished in the flames.

Full article: The Times Online

Mugabe's "Do or Die" Campaign to Stay in Power

BY A FRONTLINE/World Correspondent

Mrs. Plaxeded Mutariswa Ndira was getting her children ready for school a few weeks ago when she heard a scuffle in the bedroom where her husband was still sleeping.

"Some men ordered him out of bed," she says. "He refused, saying he wanted their IDs. He was grabbed naked and shoved into a vehicle that speeded off. My husband was screaming and wrestling."

Mrs. Ndira heard nothing for weeks. She tried to report her husband's kidnapping to the police, but they turned her away. Two weeks later she received a call that her husband's body had been found.

"His tongue was cut off, his left eye gouged out, his body was severely bruised," she says between sobs. "Who will look after his children?"

Mrs. Ndira's husband, Tonderai, was an activist with the anti-Mugabe opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC. He had been organizing party meetings and working as a driver for the national chapter's vice president. Before his abduction, Tonderai had been arrested 35 times for various charges ranging from "disturbing the peace"and "causing hatred to the president" to "organizing meetings without police clearance." He was in and out of jail but had never been convicted.

The Ndiras' story was just the first in a wave of accounts I heard on a recent investigative trip around the country.

Full Article: FRONTLINE/World