More threats and abudctions of MDC MPs

By Chief Reporter

HARARE - Zimbabwe's military junta is frantically trying to force down the MDC's parliamentary majority through arrests, abductions and threats.

At least one MDC MP is battling for life in hospital, two are in jail, one has been abducted and still at large, at least seven have fled to neighbouring countries and many others are in hiding inside Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean understands MDC MP for Mutambara/Zvishavane, Pearson Mbalekwa is in jail in Hwange facing trumped up charges of inciting violence. Information filtering through from intelligence sources suggests there are strict instructions that he must be abducted soon after he is granted bail and dealt with.

He is a former Zanu (PF) MP and Central Intelligence Organisation operative who defected to the MDC, much to the chagrin of the authorities.Mbalekwa, together with 16 other MDC activists were due in court Thursday following a High Court application lodged by the MDC for their release. 

At least four MDC vehicles have also been impounded and the party has also applied to the High Court for the immediate return of the vehicles.MDC MP for Buhera West, Advocate Eric Matinenga, remains in custody on flimsy charges of bankrolling political violence in his constituency. The High Court has ordered that he be immediately released, but the order has been contemptuously ignored.

Shuwa Mudiwa, MP for Mutare West, is detained on trumped up charges of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl.

Naison Nemadziwa, MP for Buhera South in Manicaland, has gone into hiding following his abduction outside the Mutare High Court by a goon squad led by army colonel Morgan Mzilikazi.

He was abducted after attending a court case where Joseph Chinotimba, the defeated Zanu PF parliamentary candidate, was challenging his loss.Another Manicaland MDC MP, Mathias Mlambo, has gone into hiding following threats to his life.The family of newly-elected Zaka West MP, Festus Dumbu is still at large following their abduction by Zanu (PF) militants at their homestead.

Eliah Jembere, MP for Epworth township near Harare, had a fake charge of rape thrown out by a Harare court. The authorities are appealing against that decision.The police have placed on its Wanted List’ seven MDC MPs on charges of political violence. The list includes veteran MDC officials such as Elton Mangoma, MP-elect for Makoni North, Edmore Marima and many others.

Several MDC MPs have gone into hiding, including key strategists such as MDC chief elections secretary, Ian Makone.MDC secretary general Tendai Biti is facing four counts of treason, a charge which carries a death penalty.

Fearing arrest, most of the MPs have either fled to Botswana or South Africa, and are unlikely to come back in time for the swearing-in-ceremony.According to Zimbabwean law, absentee MPs can be stripped of their seats if they are continuously absent for 21 consecutive sittings.

The MDC parliamentary caucus holds 110 seats in the Lower House while Zanu (PF) has 99 seats, with another one of the 210 seat-Lower Chamber held by independent MP Prof Jonathan Moyo.

The MDC shares 30 seats apiece with Zanu (PF) in the 60 electable-seat Senate.MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the behaviour of Zanu (PF) was clear manifestation of a catalogue of acts of bad faith.They have been in a warrior mode against the whole nation, Chamisa told The Zimbabwean. In short Zanu (PF) has declared war on the people and their representatives. What is now under threat is the will of the people.

Chamisa said Zanu (PF) cannot demand dialogue with the MDC when it is hounding MDC MPs like common criminals.

You can’t cut the tongue of the person you want to dialogue with, he said.

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