December 29, 2011
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.