Republic of Zimbabwe Vice-President Joice Mujuru congratulates President Robert Mugabe on his concluding speech at the ZANU-PF 12th National People's Conference held in Bulawayo in early December 2011. The party stands poised for the elections., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Zanu-PF offices bombed
Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:00
AN explosion rocked Zanu-PF provincial offices in Gweru on Tuesday night, shattering windowpanes, in a suspected politically-motivated attack.
No one was injured in the explosion.
While police yesterday could not disclose the cause of the explosion, occupants of the building - which houses other offices - suspect this was a pre-meditated attack on the Zanu-PF offices.
Said Midlands provincial police spokes-person Inspector Patrick Chademana: "We are still investigating the cause of the explosion which occurred yesterday (Tuesday) at around 11pm."
Sources close to the investigations ruled out the use of petrol bombs like in previous bombings that targeted Zanu-PF offices.
Zanu-PF provincial administrator Cde Passmore Washaya said the attack could have been an act of aggression by MDC-T activists.
"We are still waiting for police investigations to be completed, but we strongly suspect that this was an act of aggression by our enemies, especially the MDC-T," he said.
Cde Washaya said preliminary investigations showed that the explosion did not damage property inside the offices.
"It looks like the suspects missed their target and the explosion ended up shattering windowpanes without causing further damage," he said. "We are, however, still waiting for the police to complete their
investigations so that we can ascertain the extent of the damage."
MDC-T Midlands provincial spokesperson Mr James Tsuro dismissed as unfou-nded, allegations that his party was responsible for the bombing of Zanu-PF offices.
"These are unfounded allegations and if the suspects were from the MDC-T party, by now there could have been a number of arrests," he said.
"There is no reason why MDC-T would bomb empty offices and besides our party is not violence-oriented. There is no point for us to resort to violence when it is a known fact that virtually all the urban dwellers are MDC-T party supporters. Why would we bomb other political parties' offices when we have the majority of supporters?"
The level of politically-motivated violence increased during the year with several properties belonging to Zanu-PF officials and supporters being burnt in various similar attacks.
Property and clothes were destroyed at the party's Joshua Nkomo district offices in Matapi, Mbare in February this year.
No one was injured in the attack, but the bomb destroyed timber worth more than US$600 000.
The attack occurred a few days after Zanu-PF Harare provincial youth chairman Cde Jimu Kunaka was assaulted by suspected MDC-T youths at a food outlet in the city. Other bombs were detonated in Budiriro and Epworth, with the police indicating that MDC-T activists were responsible for the attacks.
The MDC-T was implicated in various politically motivated bombings that targeted police stations ahead of the March 2008 harmonised elections.
According to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, an MDC-T employee identified as Charles Mutama told US Embassy political officer Audu Besner that the party's security, intelligence and youth branches planned dynamite and petrol bomb attacks on targets in the country's five cities.
Mutama, a well-known MDC-T informant to the embassy's political section was recruited during the 2000 student movement and claimed to have received military training in Uganda.
The attacks increased in March 2007. Among the targets that were petrol bombed were police stations in Unit N, Chitungwiza, Nehanda in Gweru, Marimba in Harare and Sakubva in Mutare.
Lake disaster: Mujuru consoles bereaved families
Thursday, 29 December 2011 00:00
ACTING President Joice Mujuru has descri-bed the Lake Chivero boat disaster which claimed the lives of 11 children on Christmas Day as a reckless disregard of life in its innocence.
In her condolence message to the bereaved families, the Acting President blamed the accident on the boat operators' love for money and profits.
"Whilst I am still to get the full facts on what happened on that fateful day, the initial reports point to callous negligence on the part of the boat owners," said Acting President Mujuru. "Gross negligence has cost us so tremendously by way of 11 hapless souls who did not deserve such a cruel fate.
"As a mother and grandmother, I feel the full horror of this whole incident, all of it aggravated by the staggering toll borne by one victim-family, the Ruzvidzo family, which lost three children in that incident."
Acting President Mujuru said it was ironic that the children drowned on a day dedicated to celebrating life.
"Such reckless disregard of life in its innocence triggers deep questions in all of us, more so in those in our midst whose quest for money and profit simply cheapen life in this extraordinary way," she said.
"On behalf of Government and on my own behalf, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to all the families which have lost their little lovely angels in this terrible way on a day ironically dedicated to celebrating life.
"May the fact of our sharing in their grief lighten their pain.
"The whole nation joins them in this hour of pain and sorrow."
The Acting President's condolence message came as the owner of Chasura Boats, Latif Ameer (53) and his three workers appeared in court facing 11 counts of culpable homicide.
Ameer was arrested on Tuesday, together with boat captain Fadil Ramon Weale (27), driver Enock Yorani Zulu (36) and Joseph Abraham (37) whose position has not been disclosed.
They were remanded to January 11 next year on US$500 bail apiece.
Ameer and his accomplices were not formally charged when they appeared before provincial magistrate Mr Kudakwashe Jarabini.
They are also facing an alternative charge of contravening certain sections of the Inland Waters Shipping Act Chapter 13:06.
As part of their bail conditions, they were ordered to report once every Friday at their nearest police stations.
They are also required to continue residing at their given addresses until the matter is finalised.
Prosecutor Ms Mollyn Mutamangira alleged that on December 25 at Lake Chivero, Ameer, who is the owner of the speedboat approached Zulu and asked him to operate it.
She said Ameer allegedly failed to provide life jackets to passengers who would board the boat.
Ms Mutamangira said Ameer assigned Weale to be in charge of collecting money from passengers before they got into the boat to supervise the passengers.
Abraham, she said, loaded 17 passengers into the boat, which has a carrying capacity of six passengers, without lifesavers in the presence of the other suspects.
Ameer further instructed Zulu to continue operating the boat with passengers without life jackets.
Zulu, Ms Mutamangira said, did not have a licence to operate the boat, but drove the boat into Lake Chivero around 6:10pm.
As the boat was in the middle of the lake, water started getting in and passengers panicked and moved to one side.
The overloaded boat capsized, causing the death of 11 passengers.
Meanwhile, the remaining victims of the boat disaster, Sprenner (12) and Anesu Kaseke (10) were buried yesterday at Rwizi Village in Mhondoro.
Their father, Mr Tobias Kaseke, said his other relatives, Tadiwanashe January (7) and Pathras Chimimba (13) were laid to rest at Granville Cemetery in Harare on Tuesday.
The other victim, Munashe Joramu was also laid to rest in Norton yesterday.