Friday, March 15, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) US condemns attack on Zanu PF man's home

US condemns attack on Zanu PF man's home
13/03/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE United States on Wednesday condemned a reported petrol bomb attack on the home of an aspiring Zanu PF councillor a day earlier.

William Chapepa was hospitalised with serious burns following the raid on his home in Makoni West, Manicaland Province – it is thought by a single suspect – shortly after 2AM on Tuesday. Police said Chapepa – vying for a council seat in Ward 11 – woke up after a ball of fire landed feet from his bedroom.

On opening the door, he noticed a 5-litre plastic container on fire, picked it up and threw it away. But investigators say a mystery man picked it up and hurled it back at Chapepa, and his clothes caught fire from the petrol spray. He was hospitalised at Rusape Hospital where he remained on Wednesday.

In a statement, the US embassy said it was “deeply concerned about the alleged petrol bombing” which came barely two weeks after the house fire death of a 12-year-old boy in Headlands – originally blamed on Zanu PF militants – but later revealed by police to have been the result of an explosion of tobacco chemicals.

The US embassy said: “As in the case of the death of Christpower Maisiri, the son of an MDC-T Headlands district deputy organising secretary in February, this terrible occurrence is an opportunity for the Zimbabwe Republic Police to conduct a thorough investigation, and, if it is determined to be arson, to hold all responsible for this atrocity to account.

“Swift professional law enforcement work to bring the perpetrators to justice is vital to reassuring Zimbabweans that their political leaders sincerely want, and will insist on, peace and peaceful elections in 2013.”

Zimbabweans vote in a referendum on a new constitution on Saturday. Political leaders are anxious to see the vote pass peacefully, which could augur well for general elections set to be held in July.

Police chief Augustine Chihuri has named Senior Assistant Commissioner Lee Muchemwa as the 2013 elections commander, aiming to avoid a repeat of the June 2008 presidential election run-off which was marred by violence and accusation that the police stood akimbo as militant foot soldiers of President Robert Mugabe’s targeted his rivals.

Muchemwa said Tuesday he had a mandate from Mugabe, who has been speaking out against political violence, to “deal with malcontents and hooligans”.

The US embassy statement added: “As Zimbabwe brings its Global Political Agreement to an end, non-partisan, efficient, and professional law enforcement is critical to gaining the confidence of the Zimbabwean people, neighbouring countries, and the international community.

“Respect for the rule of law and apolitical policing are also essential for creating the conditions for credible and non-violent Zimbabwean elections later this year.”

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