VILLAGERS in Nkayi, Matabeleland North province, have resolved to investigate and expose perpetrators of the 2002 to 2008 electoral violence.

After compiling the names of the terror groups, the community plans to petition Parliament, State security agencies and government in a bid to force them to act.

The issue came out during a debate conducted by the Nkayi Community Parliament held at the weekend, which centred on the topic: What are the common forms of political violence experienced in Nkayi? How has the media covered or perpetuated political instability?

Nkayi has been one of the region's political hotbeds since the Gukurahundi genocide in the 1980s.

Villagers said a case in point was that of the late MDC activist, Thembeni Ndebele, who was allegedly abducted in 2002 ahead of elections together with colleagues Marvelous Muleya and Newman Magutshwa, who managed to escape, but Ndebele did not make it.

Her remains were later discovered close to Lukona Primary School which was used as a torture base by terror gangs who targeted the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai's supporters.

Nkayi Community Parliament administrator Nhlanhla Ncube said culprits should be identified and brought to book.

"We must stand up against violence as the Nkayi community. If those who killed people at Lukona are known, they must be arrested. They must know that crime is not wanted in Nkayi. They must be named and shamed. Even the leaders who sent them must account for that," Ncube said.

"There were some people who were campaigning to be councillors or MPs when the killings occurred on their behalf. Such people must be charged even if the crimes happened several years back.  We must not use violence on them, but use legal recourse," he said.

Ncube said the Constitution allowed people to petition authorities over injustices and crime.

Nkayi educationist Nkosilathi Ncube blasted politicians for using youths to perpetrate violence on their behalf.

"There was a base at Olutsha where Border Gezi youths toyi-toyed and intimidated villagers.  In Dlawa area, people were terrorised and perpetrators must be brought to book," he said.

Nkayi businessman Mqondisi Ndebele said he was also a victim of terror gangs.

"Nkayi was a tormented area and the perpetrators must be named and shamed," Ndebele said.

Makhwatheni community member Methuseli Moyo said locals should never give up, and should work together to expose terror groups.

Former Nkayi South legislator Abednico Bhebhe, who was abducted in May 2001, beaten up and left unconscious by Zanu-PF militias, said he would take legal action against perpetrators.

The late former President Robert Mugabe retained power in March 2002 and 2008 in elections which many observers said was characterised by widespread violence, intimidation and vote rigging.

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe