The men who pulled up in three white pickup trucks were looking for Patson Chipiro, head of the Zimbabwean opposition party in Mhondoro district. His wife, Dadirai, told them he was in Harare but would be back later in the day, and the men departed.
An hour later they were back. They grabbed Mrs Chipiro and chopped off one of her hands and both her feet. Then they threw her into her hut, locked the door and threw a petrol bomb through the window.
The killing last Friday – one of the most grotesque atrocities committed by Robert Mugabe’s regime since independence in 1980 – was carried out on a wave of worsening brutality before the run-off presidential elections in just over two weeks. It echoed the activities of Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader in the Sierra Leone civil war that ended in 2002, whose trade-mark was to chop off hands and feet.
Mrs Chipiro, 45, a former pre-school teacher, was the second wife of a junior official of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) burnt alive last Friday by Zanu (PF) militiamen. Pamela Pasvani, the 21-year-old pregnant wife of a local councillor in Harare, did not suffer mutilation but died later of her burns; his six-year-old son perished in the flames.
God rest their souls.
The floods in the midwest, the fires, the tornados, hurricanes. Food riots, gas prices, foreclosures. It can all be so much to bear, but when I feel like this I give. I need to know I am doing SOMETHING to help-even if I can’t directly help the people in Zimbabwe.
With my free food I get from clipping coupons I’ve been able to bring bags of food to the loca pantry. You can do this too-and it will cost you next to nothing. http://www.thegrocerygame.com You’ll save $ for your family, and help someone else, too.
My heart’s been focused on Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation too. They can use your Box Tops for education, and your empty printer cartridges.
The only way we can fight back all of the darkness is to give.