Police target anti-Zanu PF NGOs
REPORT BY MOSES MATENGA
The threats coincided with an announcement by the MDC-T that one of its senior officials in Manicaland was abducted and severely tortured by soldiers in Mutare on Monday.
It also followed raids by police on several NGOs involved in voter education in Bulawayo and Harare where alleged subversive material was seized.
Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, told journalists in Harare that the raids had yielded “subversive materials, documents and illegal imported gadgets to use for hate speech”.
She claimed the NGOs targeted Zanu PF and promised arrests were imminent, raising fears of a repeat of 2008 where human rights activists were abducted and tortured by State security agents.
The previous day Charamba had told another media briefing that NGOs were distributing “illegal” radios that were used to “communicate hate speech”.
“At the moment they are targetingZanu PF and no other parties . . . and we have evidence that will amount to arrests,” Charamba said.
“The radios are not registered and other NGOs are engaged in similar activities.
“Police have proof that they are using hate speech and deploying field monitors in most parts of the country.
“They make them fill in event forms that we recovered at the premises filled in by unknown people who attend rallies and then come up with a summary of what was happening at the particular rally.”
She claimed NGOs were working with suspected former State security agents to spy on Zanu PF.
“They have come up with political codes for the political parties like the MDC-T is number 8, Zanu PF (3) MDC-N (2), MDC-M (5), MDC99 (23) MLF (14), Puma (15),” Charamba claimed.
“What this entails is that these particular people are infiltrated by ex-security agents who are aiding works for them because they have codes they are using that are used by police.”
Last week, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), led by former ZBC broadcaster Jestina Mukoko, was also raided and Charamba yesterday singled out the organisation saying it was not registered.
“There are illegal activities by unregistered entities purporting to be NGOs,” she claimed. We have it on good authority that there are entities like ZPP purporting to be engaged in humanitarian work yet they are not registered.”
Meanwhile, the MDC-T said its Mutare South district youth organising secretary Herbert Gonyora was abducted by six soldiers at Zimunya township.
He was allegedly taken to Mutare 3 Brigade where he was “heavily assaulted with booted feet and bare hands before he was released in the early hours of yesterday (Tuesday) morning”.
The MDC-T said Gonyora was accused of being an army deserter and the soldiers said they were “on a mission to discipline a lot of people who are not supporting Zanu PF”.
The party said a report was made at the Zimunya police base under CRB Number 1524999.
Manicaland police were not immediately available for comment.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday told journalists he had agreed on a code of conduct for security forces with President Robert Mugabe that would address concerns about their involvement in politics.