The Big Dick
We have had quite a week. On Wednesday evening two vehicles parked
our home with about 8 men in them. We are always on the watch for this
of thing - it could be the Police, or politically motivated thugs or
thieves. For this reason we have a night guard on duty from 6 to 6.
When these men were still there at 20.00 hrs I called the armed
unit of a security company and they arrived in 15 minutes or so. They
questioned the group and were told that they were 'police'. At 18.30
neighbors had fired a warning shot to persuade the group to move but
had only shifted their locale to a spot closer to us. I therefore
unlikely that they were 'police'.
At 22.00 hrs I called the Police and they arrived in strength (about 12
at 23.30 hrs. They also spoke to the group and then came to see me.
took statements from our staff and myself and then after looking around
left, leaving two uniformed officers on duty at the house - I was
Who were these guys and what were they doing? The Police had given me
Three of the group had tried to enter our property and were duly chased
the back fence by our night guard and gardener. I told the Police this
also about the shot and again no reaction at all! I was perplexed and
back to bed. At 04.30 the Police details on duty at the house went off
at 06.00 hrs the last of the strange vehicles outside the house for the
12 hours also drove away.
We went about our work - another Police vehicle arrived and dropped two
plain clothes officers off at the house. We later fed them lunch and
Still no clue as to what was going on. At lunchtime I dispatched a
a business of ours with a load and we packed up and left for a family
wedding in Johannesburg.
At the border that evening I received a call. Did I know that the
group had issued a statement saying I was hiding 5 men wanted by the
for the attack on Trudy Stevenson the previous Sunday? I said no. The
then read out what they had said. It was quite serious - the statement
claimed I was hiding 5 men on the run from the Police after the attack
that I was going to help them cross the border into South Africa
I laughed and said that this explained all the fuss at home the night
and during the day! Well, the Police kept a detail at the house for
days and then withdrew when it was apparent that I had no idea what
were looking for and no strangers had come anywhere near the house.
I came home on Tuesday after a day in Johannesburg on business after
wedding and all was back to normal. It now transpires that the mystery
outside my house was made up of Mutambara group people including one of
their National Executive whom I know well - he had a long cold night
What made me laugh however was some of the e-mail responses to this
ludicrous press statement. One guy said to the Press Secretary 'if you
to piss all over someone, at least take your dick out of your pants
you do it!' Not my sort of language, but it certainly expresses the
Since then the Police claim to have arrested 8 men responsible for the
attack on Trudy and have also arrested a MDC Member of Parliament;
Mubawu, on suspicion of being involved. Quite frankly I doubt the
allegation, as he knows all too well that he would face the wrath of
Party for any such activity as well as a long prison sentence, but we
to see what will eventually transpire.
The MDC has of course been blamed for the whole thing - that was after
the objective of the exercise. The choice of Trudy was also quite
deliberate - she is one of the few white women involved and is well
and respected. An attack on a black person in similar circumstances
not gain anything like the publicity and attention of this sort of
In fact the Chairperson of our Women's Assembly, Lucy Mativenga, was
attacked a short while ago in Gwanda, had injuries similar to those of
and could not walk for some weeks afterwards. This attack, perpetrated
ethnic basis, hardly attracted any attention.
The question arises then as to who is carrying out these attacks, who
up the money and the planning and why? It is certainly not the MDC. We
always have been and will remain, totally opposed to any form of
achieve our goals.
The State on the other hand has every reason to carry out such attacks
they have lots of resources to make it happen and to then subsequently
the appropriate spin on the outcome. The motivation has been to foster
ethnic divide there exists, to foster any political divide that may
lots of raw material for both in a country like Zimbabwe. Then there is
the added attraction of being able to blame the MDC for the violence
take the position that we are no different to Zanu PF which clearly has
compunction about claiming to be a Party that espouses violence in all
forms and who will use violence to maintain its grip on power.
So my money is on the CIO and Zanu PF as the perpetrators of this so
'intra Party violence'. If you examine the record carefully you can see
pattern emerge and it is also clear from the sporadic nature of these
attacks that they are deliberate and well planned.
The question is how to react? I was very happy with the attitude of the
Police in my own case - they were polite and considerate and when it
clear that we were not in any way involved as our big dick had claimed,
left us to get on with our normal lives. Clearly we must be clean
and we simply must ensure a zero tolerance for violence - even when we
engaged in mass action.
But the one thing we must NOT do - is respond as expected and lay blame
the 'other Party' for the violence when it happens. This is exactly
Mutambara group has done since last Sunday culminating in the silly
Statement about my own involvement. I am still paying for the injuries
inflicted on a young MDC supporter by a group of thugs at a rally here
Bulawayo - he lost an eye. But we have not blamed anyone for this -
the way it should be.
Bulawayo, 12th July 2006