Crackdown on opposion MDC leaders 

Source: Crackdown on opposion MDC leaders – DailyNews Live

Fungi Kwaramba and Jeffrey Muvundusi      3 August 2018

HARARE – Officials from the MDC Alliance were on tenterhooks yesterday as
police embarked on what appeared to be a crackdown on those perceived to
have been behind midweek protests, which degenerated into violence –
killing six people.

Police confirmed arresting 26 suspected MDC Alliance officials yesterday
following the violent clashes in Harare on Wednesday which injured several
people after the army used live ammunition to break the ugly
demonstrations against alleged bias by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
(Zec) and delays in the release of Monday poll results.

At the same time, police said it had obtained a warrant to search for
grenades, firearms, ammunition and computers at the MDC headquarters.

This comes as the death toll from Wednesday’s bloody clashes between MDC
Alliance supporters and security agents, who included police and the
military, rose to six.

Addressing a media conference last night, police spokesperson Charity
Charamba said among those who had been arrested was former Zanu PF Harare
provincial political commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe, who participated in
Monday’s national harmonised elections in Harare South on the MDC Alliance

Mashayamombe was also cited in the search warrant which the police said
was necessary to seize weapons believed to belong to or under control of
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa and his key lieutenant
Tendai Biti, and others.

The search warrant also cited MDC youth leader Happymore Chidziva, Denford
Ngadziore, Shakespeare Mukoyi who is suspected to be part of the infamous
Vanguard, former Zanu PF militia leader, Jim Kunaka and Makomborero

Charamba said the army will remain deployed as the situation in Harare was
still tense.

MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora claimed police wanted to plant
evidence to incriminate officials.

“At least 27 members of our staff who were tabulating the results of the
elections for analysis purposes were arrested.

“We have also heard that they are looking for Chidziva and Biti but I can
tell you they have no specific charges against the two, the charges are
wrong at law because the results were declared by the presiding officers,
thereafter the results were posted outside polling stations and what Biti
did was to say what the world already knew.

“On the other hand, we have also heard that they have arrested (MDC
national secretary for mobilisation) Job Sikhala,” Mwonzora said.

Charamba told a news conference last night that police had not cleared
Biti and were still keen to interview the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)

The MDC Alliance issued a statement in which it exonerated Biti and
Chidziva of any wrongdoing.

“In these times there is a high temptation to give a dog a bad name just
to find a reason to hang it, this must stop,” it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in Bulawayo, police also cordoned off MDC provincial offices
where the party’s management committee was holding a meeting.

Police did not only maintain their heavy presence at the offices but also
in the Central Business District.

MDC provincial chairperson Gift Banda said they resolved to maintain peace
in the city.

“We were meeting as the Bulawayo management on the way forward regarding
the just-ended polls.

“We have argued our case, and agreed to urge our supporters to remain calm
until all the results have been announced. We will stand guided by the
decision of the national leadership after that,” Banda said.

On Wednesday, MDC Alliance supporters engaged in an orgy of violence after
they swamped the streets in the Central Business District where they
clashed with police who tried to break their premature celebrations.

The bloodletting violence and the army’s involvement to break the
demonstration, took off the gloss from historic elections whose campaign
periods were generally characterised by peace.

On Monday, Zimbabwe held its first elections without former president
Robert Mugabe whose 37-year iron-fisted rule was dramatically ended by a
military operation last November which triggered events that ended with
his resignation.

The elections also marked the first time that the main opposition MDC was
not represented by its founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai who lost his
brave battle with cancer of the colon on Valentine’s Day this year.

Zanu PF has retained its two third parliamentary majority after Monday’s

Zec last night said it would start announcing the results of the
presidential elections – as international observers warned that delays
could cause more anxiety.

Constitutionally, Zec is still within the law which says it must have
finished announcing election results within five days of polling.

“In our initial conversation with you, we said that when we meet we are
going to have an exact time when we will be able to tell you when we will
announce the presidential election result. The result will start to be
announced tonight from 10pm,” Zec commissioner Qhubani Moyo told the media
and other election stakeholders yesterday.