MDC Seeks SADC Support On Police Crackdown
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party has accused President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu
(PF) party of waging a war against its members by instructing the police to
randomly arrest them in recent clashes between the police and vendors in
The party says it will take up the matter with the political party
principals, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediator,
Jacob Zuma as well as the African Union (AU) whose chairman, Theodoro Obiang
Nguema was recently in Zimbabwe to meet Mugabe.
“We will take the matter to the political party principals and SADC. We hold
Zanu PF accountable for anything that happens to our people because one of
its hard core factions is working to destabilise the coalition government,”
said MDC spokesperson Douglas Monzora.
“They want to cow us but we will not relent until we have free and fair
The police on Wednesday arrested about 10 vendors accusing them of
assaulting a policeman who was left injured during clashes between the
police and the vendors.
The clashes resulted in the arrest of two Daily News journalists who were
covering the clashes.
On Thursday heavily armed anti-riot police officers raided MDC headquarters
at Harvest House and arrested staff members working in the party’s regalia
Eyewitnesses said police locked up the regalia shop and took away some wares
and forced marched the workers to Harare Central Police station.
This is not the first time that police has raided the Harvest house under
the guise of searching vendors especially those operating along Nelson
Mandela close to the MDC headquarters.
In November last year police arrested dozens of MDC members after similar
skirmishes ensued between vendors and municipal police officers.
Several MDC supporters and officials have been a subject of harassment from
the police and other state security agencies.
Meanwhile the MDC Deputy Minister of Local Government Sesel Zvidzai was
summoned by the police to clear his name after a car he sold to a Harare car
dealer was used in Rhino poaching.
Co-Minister of Home Affairs Theresa Makone on Friday said she will approach
Mugabe and the Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri over the partisan
conduct of the police, a day after police details raided the MDC Harvest
headquarters and deployment of massive police units in Nkayi.
“Once again, I will be engaging the Commissioner-General and the President
about the deplorable behaviour of the police in Nkayi and other areas,”
Makone said in a statement released to the media.
“I will continue to do all I can within my limited powers to ensure peace
and order in Zimbabwe. As we trudge towards the next election, I urge the
police to respect the people of Zimbabwe who are the very reason why they
exist as a police force.”
“I am aware that there are many professional men and women in uniform whose
reputation is being dragged through the mud by those who have chosen to
pursue a politically partisan line,”she added.
Makone said previous engagements with Mugabe and Chihuri have yielded
nothing. Chihuri who has openly said he supports Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party
has said he does not report to Co-Ministers of Home Affairs but that he
reports directly to the President.
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