Other names of Chipangano leaders that kept popping up during our investigations were Sanyanga, Kunta Kinte and one Kedha, who is alleged to have murdered MDC supporters.
Another is Chataika, a losing municipal candidate in 2008 whose house at the corner of Ardbennie and Chatima streets has for long been used as a torture base.
Herded like cattle
Chipangano’s main role remains that of facilitating hits for the army, CIO and police agents of Zanu (PF). During the recent spate of attacks by the party, Chipangano members drove people into the walled grounds of Gwinyai school in the volatile Majubheki section.
“Then the soldiers came and beat us up. Some people suffered broken bones. Women were raped,” said a survivor, who received counselling and treatment with the help of a local NGO.
People living next to Stodart Hall, where Zanu (PF) has an office also used as a torture chamber said they were forced to attend party meetings daily.
“People here are forced to go for daily meetings. Even at the shops people are harassed by gangsters led by Reuben and Chipangano. People are beaten here every weekend by these hooligans, who also steal cellphones and cash. We can’t even call them party youths as they claim to be. They are just thugs,” said a householder who said his daughter had been raped at one of the all-night meetings after she was beaten and accused of supporting MDC.
The continued use of Gwinyai school as a torture base has perturbed teachers and angered the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe.
Wave of extortion
Traders at Mupedzanhamo market said they were forced to pay varying amounts to Chipangano daily.
“To get a table in the flea market, you’ve got to have a Zanu (PF) card. Chipangano insists that you vote for Zanu (PF). We are often told to stop trading and go to attend the party’s endless meetings. Those who don’t comply are beaten and robbed of money and goods,” said a trader.
A farmer from Mutoko said Chipangano had set the rule that all tomatoes coming to the market had to be boxed before being sold. The farmers are then forced to buy boxes from Chipangano members, who charge $3 per box compared to $1 charged by others. Farmers who refuse to buy Chipangano’s more expensive boxes are beaten and robbed. The gang also routinely goes around the markets demanding donations for Zanu (PF) programmes.
Zanu (PF) has declared that the MDC, which commands a majority of voters in the area, should not be allowed to function there.
Chipangano is the enforcer of that decree, while the police turn a blind eye.
Bulawayo East MP Tabitha Khumalo
Chipangano operating with military precision
|By Tichaona Sibanda
26 September 2011The pattern of political violence that is being waged in Harare by the deadly Chipangano group seems to be highly systematic, deliberate and well planned, an MDC-T MP has claimed.Bulawayo East MP Tabitha Khumalo also described how ZANU PF politicians are using violence as a tool to acquire or retain political support.
|Addressing a party meeting organised by the Luton branch of the MDC-T in the UK on Sunday, the MP described how the Mbare based Chipangano group had virtually taken over Harare.The MP, who is also a member of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) said the violent nature of attacks by the ZANU PF sponsored group do not bode well for peace and security in Zimbabwe.‘There are four branches within Chipangano. There is Chipangano one, two, three and four. Chipangano one identifies MDC activists. Chipangano two carries out surveillance and monitors individuals and structures of the MDC-T.‘Chipangano three approaches our members and verbally warns them of dire consequences of supporting the MDC. Chipangano four is the deadliest of all the groups. This group beats the hell out of you,’ said Khumalo.
‘They beat me up in parliament and I cracked my denture. This is a group that attacks parliamentarians, journalists and ordinary people whilst their party leader preaches peace and unity.
‘It is so shocking that a group of people can enter parliament where we felt secure and safe and beat up members of parliament. Only a group linked to ZANU PF can do this,’ the MP added.
Khumalo also spent much of her time urging MDC-T activists in the UK to unite, following a major fall out between members soon after the External Assembly’s congress held in April.
‘It pains us as a leadership that you spend much of your energy at each other’s throats. The real enemy is Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF. Stop this infighting and channel your resources in removing Mugabe from power. My message to you all in the diaspora is please unite for the sake of Zimbabweans,’ the MP said.
CHAMISA The youthful and popular MDC-T leader
”Chamisa yesterday said the 87-year-old Zanu PF leader, who has of late taken every opportunity to lambast violence, must put his sincerity to the test by reining in the Chipangano rabble rousers.
The youthful and popular MDC-T leader was addressing a rally in his constituency of Kuwadzana when he challenged President Mugabe’s sincerity.
Chipangano has caused havoc in Harare where it has literally crippled the operations of elected public officials including the mayor and his council who have all but given up on the group’s disruptive and violent activities.
Deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto recently threatened to resign out of frustration while co-Minister of Home Affairs, Theresa Makone told NewsDay last week she has failed to rein in the Mbare hooligans.
Zanu PF leadership also appears to be at sea on how to deal with the group. Some senior party leaders have claimed “ownership” of the group, publicly pledging the party would stand by them to the extent of providing legal counsel if its members were arrested.
Others, like party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, have disowned the group.
The group however, appears immune to arrest because they have not been arrested even though their pictures were splashed in newspapers as they beat up policemen at Parliament building.
Chamisa yesterday dared President Mugabe to “walk the talk” if he is sincere.
“This violence must stop. (President) Mugabe said there should be peace. The call for peace should migrate from your lips and stop contradictions.
Violence must stop and this demon of beating up people should not continue. But for it to stop, we need to pray. Zanu PF believes in Chipangano, but we are on total promise and believe in chirangano (promise),” Chamisa said.
President Mugabe’s “loudest” call for non-violence was made during his speech at Parliament recently.
The following day Chipangano was at it again.
They faced resistance and the resultant clashes transformed the township into a battlefield.
He said his party would oppose the Human Rights Bill and Electoral Amendment Bill arguing Zanu PF wanted
“We have two Bills that we will oppose in Parliament. We have the Human Rights Bill where Zanu PF is saying let bygones be bygones but you can’t say those who raped, torched people’s houses and killed should be let free. We want a proper truth and national reconciliation process and people have to be asked why they killed, why they stole people’s property.”
“As MDC we are also against the Electoral Amendment Bill because Zanu PF wants registration to be polling station-based, but it’s dangerous because people in rural areas will have a polling station at the headman’s house with chiefs and Zanu PF people,” he said.
Chamisa, who is also the Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) said Parliamentary debates should be beamed live on television so that people know how their MPs were performing as some MPs went to sleep in Parliament.”
Chipangano in Renewed Attacks On MDC-T Supporters
Sep 12, 2011 (SW Radio Africa/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) — A number of MDC-T members have been attacked by the notorious Chipangano gang in recent days, according to the party.
In one incident, MDC-T Youth Assembly member and Mbare resident Edwin Machokoto was accosted on Sunday by the Chipangano youth for putting up party posters.
Solomon Madzore, the MDC-T Youth Assembly chairperson, said: “He was taken by the Chipangano people in Mbare for the reason that he was part of the team that was distributing those posters ahead of the anniversary.” “He was beaten, he sustained very serious injuries on his face and all over the body,” Madzore explained.
In a statement the MDC-T Youth Assembly explained that Chipangano is made up of ZANU PF youths, including youth leader Jim Kunaka, and they have unleashed a reign of terror in Mbare. Civic organizations have also complained about Chipangano’s tactics. On Monday Kunaka did not respond to a request to comment on the allegations.
The MDC-T added that two more of their members had been hospitalised after they were abducted and assaulted by ZANU PF hooligans in Kuwadzana and Mbare.
“Mary Pamire is recovering from injuries sustained after she was abducted by three ZANU PF supporters in Kuwadzana and driven to an unknown place. Pamire said she was travelling from the city centre to Kuwadzana at night last Thursday and upon disembarking from a kombi she was abducted by the three hooligans driving in a tinted vehicle.
“They drove her to a secluded place where she was severely assaulted the whole night. She was released the following day and sought treatment at a local hospital where she is still admitted,” an MDC-T statement read.
It added that another activist, Johannes Dehwe, was admitted to hospital after being kidnapped by Chipangano at Mbare Musika on Saturday.
“We want to urge Chipangano and other terror groups that the time has gone, we are responsible children. We are going to defend our party, our parents, our communities, our nation and our economy in our life time. Let’s be peaceful in our undertakings,” the MDC-T Youth Assembly statement read.by Editor
The gang has now grown in numbers and widened its criminal activities. It has transformed itself into a real mafia – running protection rackets, extorting money from companies, forcibly taking over businesses and, for good measure, beating up MDC supporters and evicting them from their homes in order to maintain its Zanu (PF) credentials.
The Chipangano mafia has grown so large and become so powerful that the police are unable to control the beast. In fact, Harare policemen have been shown to be afraid of them. Some policemen have actually been assaulted by members of Chipangano. No arrests have been made.
The gang listens to no-one – not even President Robert Mugabe. Recently, while Mugabe was addressing Parliament, saying there should be no violence in Zimbabwe, these thugs were outside the building beating up people – including one policeman. Again, no arrests were made. And this despite photographic evidence, which clearly identifies some of the thugs, being published in various newspapers.
As the police have been shown to be impotent, Zimbabweans are talking about what they can do to protect themselves from these thugs. There have been some suggestions that people should form vigilante groups to protect themselves and their businesses. But this is no solution as the ZRP would undoubtedly swing into action against them. And violence always begets more violence.
The failure by government to stop Chipangano’s outrageous behaviour is a serious dereliction of duty. A time will come when people will feel that they have nothing more to lose and will take the law into their own hands.
Sensing that they have nurtured a monster that could destroy them, Zanu (PF) secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has disowned the thugs and would like to see them arrested. We wait with bated breath to see whether Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri will obey his master’s voice, and whether indeed he will be able to put a stop to this now widespread criminal behaviour.
07 NOVEMBER 2011.. CHINYANGA ‘S POINT IS PROVED… that chipangano is not just ordenary people , but c10 strategists…
ZBC REPORTER part of Chipangano
Harare(ZimEye)A Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reporter has been named among the Chipangano violence strategists at last Sunday’s aborted MDC-T rally in Chitungwiza.
The overzealous ZBC news reporter Tafara Chikumira according to the MDC was coordinating operations with one of the leaders of the violent Zanu (PF) terror group Jim Kunaka.
“A reporter with ZBC, Tafara Chikumira was part of the team coordinating Zanu PF’s Chipangano terror group. He was heard communicating constantly with Jim Kunaka on what Zanu PF was doing,” said the MDC in statement.
fingered ZBC Journalist…Tafadzwa Chikumira
Members of the deadly Chipangano group were responsible for the violence include “Jim Kunaka, the Zanu PF Harare province youth chairperson, Zanu PF’s Chitungwiza district coordinating committee (DCC) chairperson, Wilfred Gwekwete, Luke Luke of Ward 25, Chitungwiza North and Godknows Muzenda, a Zanu PF Harare youth provincial member.
Others are; Nyasha Dziva, Chitungwiza DCC secretary, Dennis Fisher, Lloyd Bhunu, Tichaona Chapfika and Tonderai Kasukuwere.”
The MDC has experienced a number of skirmishes with political rivals Zanu (PF) where its members have turned out to be the victims at the hands of the police despite having been attacked and injured.
The MDC has since taken the issue of violence to the SADC and other regional and international stakeholders. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)
Chinyanga condemns Chipangano a brutal band of thugs formed by Zanu (PF) running a brazen murder, violence and extortion racket.