The group of ZANU PF youths from Mbare (HARARE Province) who are known as Chipangano have been consistently reported as perpetrating organised violence and torture since April 2003. However no arrests or prosecution of the members of this group are on record as having taking place. The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum is regards the climate of impunity that has been created for this notorious grouping with great concern.
Chipangano is alleged to have been involved in several incidents of political violence, including intimidation, assault, forced displacement and property damage, in May 2004. The Chipangano group allegedly invaded the venue for an MDC rally in Mbare East constituency (Harare PROVINCE) on 16 May 2004 and attacked the MDC supporters who had gathered for the rally. The group is alleged to have also carried out attacks after the rally against those that had attended it.
TCM alleges that Amos Nyakudya, Makuwatsine, Gonzo and other ZANU PF youths belonging to the Chipangano group beat him at his house on allegations of being an MDC supporter. EM claims that her property was destroyed and he was displaced by ZANU PF supporters because he had attended the MDC rally. NM and other MDC supporters were allegedly beaten by ZANU PF youths belonging to Chipangano because they were seen putting up posters calling for the MDC meeting in Mbare East constituency. The Chipangano youths allegedly followed them to their homes later at night, destroyed their property, and then forced them to leave, saying that Mbare was not a place for MDC supporters.
Zimbabwean citizens continue to have their rights to political participation violated, including the “right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties” and the “right not to be compelled to belong to an association.”2 Victimisation of persons for attending rallies held by the opposition is a worrying development ahead of the March 2005 Parliamentary Elections as this inevitably affects the ability of opposition political parties to campaign freely. The Forum urges the Government and its law enforcement agencies to redress the situation and create an environment in which all political parties can campaign freely.