Kudakwashe Basikiti – Mwenezi East Constituency
Kudakwashe Basikiti is the member of the house of assembly for Mwenezi East Constituency. In March 2010 reports from Mwenezi have noted that Basikiti is now moving around Mwenezi district with a group of Zanu PF militia setting up bases in preparation for the constitution outreach programme as well as elections that are likely to follow immediately after the finalization of the new constitution. These torture bases have been set up in the resettlement areas, Maranda, Dinhe and Neshuro areas. He has declared Mwenezi a liberated zone for Zanu PF and a no go area for the MDC. Ordinary poor villagers have been warned that they will be killed if they do not support the Kariba draft and that nothing will save them if they are found out that they are supporting the MDC.
It appears Basikiti is not aware that his actions are unlawful as he has been quoted in the press openly declaring that "Mwenezi is a Zanu PF stronghold, the opposition has no room and will never have it" and his ill conceived perception of the current situation in Mwenezi district is that there is nothing wrong with what the militia is doing. He says they are urging their people to remain vigilant. Basikiti secured a landslide victory in the March 29, 2008 elections because he is on record for having threatened that he would ban all people who do not vote for him from receiving GMB and NGO food.
He took advantage of the acute poverty so prevalent in the district, which unfortunately lies in ecological zone four, crop production is very poor and villagers survive on food from the GMB and handouts from humanitarian organizations.
Most young people from Mwenezi district have fled to South Africa because of economic and political reasons and MP Basikiti is haunting the submissive ageing population of Mwenezi riding on the crest of their illiteracy and vulnerability.
It is not the first time that this controversial character has manifested his bizarre reasoning capabilities. On February 3, 2009 either through sheer ignorance or religiously following orders from his handlers in Zanu PF, he caused quite an uproar in parliament that brought business in the house to a standstill when he made utterances that the Prime minister and his party had invited traveling and financial restrictions imposed by western governments on Zanu PF cronies and businesses with Zanu PF links.
In the period April to June 2008 Kudakwashe Basikiti and his band of Zanu PF militia and armed state agents , probably incensed by the MDC' s victory in the March 2008 elections, went on the offensive against MDC supporters in Mwenezi. Their rampage left a trail of a wanton destruction of property including homes and livestock.
Their indiscriminate attacks on MDC supporters and their families left men, women and children maimed and displaced.
Several MDC activists lost their lives allegedly at the hands of this member of parliament. Most of the reported acts of aggression and brutal attacks in which Basikiti was directly involved resulted in fatalities. Basikiti was however rewarded for his brutality with a coveted seat on the Zanu PF supreme decision making body the Communist styled Politiburo.
June 14, 2008
On 14 June 2008 ,K. D. was abducted from his home during the night and taken to a base in Maranda village. Members of his family who witnessed the abduction reported that the Zanu PF youths tied his hands behind his back and beat him up whilst his family watched. They then said they were taking him to stand before their party officials to answer questions on why he supports the MDC. They took him to the base where he was detained for the whole night. His family reported to the police that their relative had been taken to the base and they went to the base in the morning of 14 June to check, but could not rescue them. They just asked some questions and were told that the two men were Basikiti's prisoners and were to be released that day, the police just left and never reported back to the family. Some community members who had been coerced into staying at the base noted that Kudakwashe Basikiti visited the base the following morning and two prisoners were subjected to some intensive questioning and followed by severe beatings . The two prisoners who were also friends KD and KM succumbed to the torture and died at the base at 10.am June 14, 2008. The base was hastily abandoned and the corpses were collected by the police but no arrests were made.
June 17, 2008
A teacher reported as Mr M was approached at Neshuro Business centre by youths dressed in the national Service youths green uniform and in the company of two armed people in plain clothes. They asked him why he had campaigned and voted for the MDC. Witnesses say when he expressed ignorance of what they were talking about they started to beat him up. The group pounded M with booted feet, fists and baton sticks. The assault continued for quite some time and they only stopped when M had stopped screaming and was motionless. People who had seen it happening rushed to assist M but discovered that he was dead. MP Basikiti picked up the murder squad in his party truck and drove off at high speed from the centre.
June 23 2008
On 23 June 2008 SM was attacked by a mob of Zanu PF supporters, youths and armed agents who were traveling in a convoy with their MP Kudakwashe Basikiti. Witnesses reported that these people were actually celebrating Morgan Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the Presidential run off elections when lucky ran out for the MDC ward official , they caught up with him at Maranda village. They viciously assaulted him using every type of weapon they could lay their hands on and in a very few moments S was left deformed and sprawled in a pool of blood , when his relatives tried to rescue him after the marauding thugs had left , he was already dead. Those who were present when he was buried noted that his body was badly damaged that it was difficult to handle, reportedly all the bones in his body had been broken.
June 23, 2008
On the fateful day 23 June 2008 a known MDC activist in Mwenezi district was proudly donning his MDC t-shirt when Basikiti's convoy of people who were celebrating Tsvangirai's withdrawal from the Presidential run off descended on Neshuro Business Centre. They grabbed him and bundled him into one of the trucks. They never drove away from the shops but stood in a circle around the truck and it appeared Basikiti was issuing some instructions when suddenly the gang threw the activist out of the truck and started pelting him with stones iron bars and an assortment of other weapons, he died during the assault , with the MP closely watching the assault. Basikiti and his troops drove off leaving what had been an MDC activist lying stiff under the pile of stones, sticks and bricks.