Paddy Tendai Zhanda - MP Goromonzi North Constituency
Paddy Zhanda has always been involved in political violence since 1999, but has proved to be shrewd enough to cover his tracks after the act and has so cunningly operated behind the scenes. He has provided funding to those people leading the perpetration of violence in his constituency, thus working with the devil under the cover of darkness and presenting himself as holier than thou to the world during the day. The teams of militia in the Goromonzi North appeared well resourced compared to other areas as they usually availed themselves for use by other neighboring constituencies. Reports from victims of political violence note that Paddy Zhanda unleashed groups of youths to terrorise known MDC supporters in Goromonzi North. These militia gangs are reportedly recruited from Zhanda’s farm workers but its not clear whether these workers willingly offer their services or are coerced into joining other Zanu PF youths in forming the terror gangs.
In February 2000 the then MDC candidate for the Bindura constituency Elliot Pfebve organized to hold a campaign rally at Musiiwa business centre in Mashonaland Central, a group of MDC youths who had camped at the venue of the rally to up posters and other campaign materials were rounded up by a group of 150 violent Zanu PF supporters who heavily assaulted them that six MDC youths sustained serious injuries. These Zanu PF supporters were identified by locals as workers from Paddy Zhanda’s farms. They were armed with axes, iron bars and various other weapons one of them was holding a rifle. When Pfebve arrived at the venue he was confronted by this group of militia baying for his blood ,he noted that there were using a lorry and a small truck provided by Paddy Zhanda. Fortunately for Elliot the police from Shamva swiftly responded to his call for assistance the two vehicles were escorted to Shamva Police station where a subsequent police investigation screened twelve ring leaders of the group who were immediately detained. In the afternoon of that same day Border Gezi (now deceased) and Paddy Zhanda descended on the police station and ordered the unfortunate officer in charge to release the Zanu PF militia leaders without charge.
It appears that in 2008 during the Zanu PF bloody campaign for Robert Mugabe , reported events in Goromonzi North signified a drastic transformation in Zhanda’s political violence modus operandi, he moved around the constituency in the company of an armed gang led by Comrade Pasi who owns Masara Farm in Shamva and was reported present when several victims were assaulted. Ironically most of the MDC local officials who were abducted and assaulted in the presence of Zhanda were all small business people whether this was mere coincidence or a deliberate ambition to personally settle scores with business rivals nobody knows. Reports from the constituency note that the armed thugs led by Comrade Pasi with their blue Mitsubishi truck and another white Isuzu twin cab truck provided by Paddy Zhanda driven by Artwell Zhanda formed part of the contingent that abducted Shepherd Jani a Murehwa businessman in 2008. Shepherd Jani’s mutilated body was later discovered in Zhanda’s constituency. One frightening observation is that most of the remains of MDC officials who were abducted and murdered were all dumped in the Goromonzi area. Paddy Zhanda owns several retail outlets in the constituency. What really distinguished the pattern of violence in Zhanda’s area from others was that though so many people were tortured and butchered no homesteads nor properties were destroyed. The burning and looting that was the order of the day in other constituencies was not universally reported from Goromonzi north. Following are some of the details of horrible incidents in which Paddy Zhanda and his gang of murderers were involved.
June 18, 2008
Kingsley T Jaure who owns a general dealers shop at Bosha business Centre was abducted from Bosha Secondary School by armed militia and taken to the Business centre where there was a Zanu PF gathering. Jaure recognized some of his abductors as war veterans from Mwanza , an area south of the constituency. They were driving in a white truck without registration plates. On arrival at the Zanu PF meeting Jaure now a prisoner was presented before Paddy Zhanda who was addressing the Zanu PF supporters. Zhanda asked him why he was supporting the MDC and why he wanted to sell the land to the whites. The MP Zhanda then instructed his gang to assault Jaure. They attacked him with sticks, fists and booted feet. Jaure sustained serious injuries at the meeting but was however taken to the militia base at the same centre for further torment. At the base he reports that they used hot wire to torture him on his private parts and buttocks. Though Kingsley was released the same day he was so badly damaged that he could neither talk nor walk. This brutal assault rendered Jaure invalid for the whole month he could not access medication because Zhanda’s militia set up roadblocks on all roads leading into the area. No one was allowed to leave the area for medical treatment , there was no entry for those coming from outside as well, chances of ever rescuing the injured where non existent.
June 14, 2008
On 14 June 2008 Paddy Zhanda dispatched a group of armed rowdy Zanu PF militia led by Ranganai Bepete, Artwell Zhanda and Pasi to abduct Claudious Munemo and shut down his store near St Francis School in the Chikwaka area. The gang was traveling in a blue Mitsubishi truck without registration plates. The militia looted goods from the store saying this was all MDC money. Munemo was then hauled to a Zanu PF meeting at Bosha Business Centre, his abductors informed him that they wanted to set an example for the people. At the meeting Claudious Munemo was extremely humiliated they bared his buttocks and heavily assaulted him. Mrs Mudhara a Zanu PF district official who had come from Rusike an area in the same district was given the honor to beat Munemo first before the other thugs took turns to kick and bash him. Paddy Zhanda instructed the militia that they must make sure that Munemo would not be allowed to leave the area. Pasi who owns Masara Farm in Shamva was the commander of the four men armed gang that moved around in the Blue Mitsubishi truck. After the assault at the meeting Munemo was taken to a Zanu PF militia base at Bosha School for further beatings and torture. Though he was released the same day, the youths visited him at his home a further five times on different days heavily assaulting him each time, his wounds were never given the chance to heal. Finally one night Pasi and his gang of armed men took Munemo away from his home, they told him that he had refused to leave the MDC after all the beatings and they were therefore going to end it all. They bundled him into their truck and drove off towards the cattle dip tank in the area, on the way Munemo reports that Paddy Zhanda phoned Pasi ordering him to leave whatever he was doing and report to base as soon as possible for there was an urgent mission to be attended to. That is when Munemo was thrown out of the truck and it sped off into the night. Munemo reported that some of the utensils looted from his shop were used at Zhanda’s farm to prepare food for delegates to a Zanu PF meeting and these drums and pots are still there.