via ‘Biti attack inside job’ | The Herald February 27, 2014 by Hebert Zharare
The petrol-bombing of MDC-T secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti’s house in Umwinsdale, Harare, on Tuesday was “an inside job” as Zanu-PF is standing on “solid political ground” and cannot be engaged in such acts, top officials in the opposition said yesterday.
The officials, who cannot be named for fear of being attacked by party thugs, said Zanu-PF was quite disciplined compared to MDC-T and would never defy its leader President Mugabe’s call for non-violence.
This was the second such attack on Mr Biti’s property, and it came some two weeks after he and a youth leader, Mr Solomon Madzore, narrowly escaped a beating at the hands of an MDC-T mob at the party’s headquarters in Harare.
MDC-T deputy treasurer Mr Elton Mangoma and another youth leader, Mr Promise Mkwananzi, were not so lucky and were bashed while Mr Morgan Tsvangirai watched.
“This is an inside job. There are many reasons why some of us who have been in the MDC since its formation are saying this. We have four years to go before the next elections and Zanu-PF, given its recent victory, is not under pressure to create problems for us.
“The second issue is that President Mugabe has assumed second-in-command of the African Union (Deputy Chairperson) and would like to leave a good legacy when he retires. So there is no way his party can be involved in this.
“The events in MDC-T are so clear that Tsvangirai has lost support of nearly all structures and his supporters are now using violence to deal with his political rivals.
“What we know is Mangona is fronting Biti, whom we know wants to be president of the party. This attack was meant to instil fear in Biti and his people,” said the source.
Said another official: “We were shocked to hear (Mr Douglas) Mwonzora (party spokesperson) and (Mr Nelson) Chamisa (organising secretary) attacking Mangoma for reporting to the police. There are so many cases of people who reported their cases to the police before and the due process followed and these people never complained. Why are they attacking Mangoma for reporting his case to the police?”
Mr Mangoma’s lawyer Mr Jacob Mafume said his client had the right to report the attack to the police. He said MDC-T had failed to even appoint a team to investigate the matter.
“It goes without saying that thousands of MDC-T members interact with the police in fruitful interactions. MDC-T members go to the police when their property is stolen, when they are conned, when their daughters are abused, houses broken into and so on.
“Our very own (Mr) Geoff Nyarota caused (Mr) Pishai Muchauraya to be detained for days on end for believing that he had threatened him. It was his right to report and it is right he did report.
“When youths beat up a defenceless member of the standing committee, should we stand and watch.
“Our ever-perceptive security department cannot tell us who beat up a member of the standing committee in broad daylight but they know who meets Mr Mangoma at night. You do not need to be a discerning mind to know that something stinks and stinks to high heaven.
“I cannot therefore fault Mangoma for reporting this heinous deed to the police. A member of the standing committee is beaten what is the reaction from the powers that be? Silence. No crisis meeting, no suspension letters, not even the usual commission of inquiry. Nothing.”
Questions have been asked why the party did not make noise when Mr Arnold Tsunga and Mr Giles Mutsekwa’s feud over Dangamvura-Chikanga constituency spilled into the courts. Nothing was also said when Mr Matson Hlalo, a councillor, and MDC-T Bulawayo provincial organising secretary Albert Mhlanga went to court over political squabbles.
Mr Mwonzora yesterday dismissed the inside job claims in relation to the molotov cocktail attack on Mr Biti, challenging the members making the allegations to furnish the party with details.
Without substantiating his claim, he insisted that Zanu-PF was behind the attacks.
“If there is someone who comes to me with the information, I will be very glad for them to give us that information. The MDC was accused of killing (war veteran leader Cde ) Cain Nkala and no one was convicted, our officials were accused of bombing trains and police stations, but still no one has been convicted,” he said.
Mr Mwonzora denied ever attacking Mr Mangoma for reporting his assault case to the police.