Activists arrested for “burning” Zanu (PF) banner

Police here arrested MDC-T vice District Youth Chairperson, Charles Ngwena, activists Brian ‘Gwekwerere’ Phiri and Shawn Chinhai last Tuesday for allegedly burning a Zanu (PF) banner bearing Mugabe’s picture.

Charles Ngwena
Charles Ngwena

According to the police, the three pulled down the banner which was hoisted by Zanu (PF) youths at Dombotombo Shopping Centre Sunday, moments before MDC-T President, Morgan Tsvangirai, addressed a rally at Rudhaka Stadium. The charges are denied by the accused.

“I am sure police investigations are in progress,” said MDC-T vice provincial organiser, Boniface Tagwireyi.

Police was also reported to be keen to arrest and investigate MDC-T Marondera Central District Main Vice Chairperson and councillor ward 4, Caleb Marange, in connection with the ‘torched’ Mugabe banner. Marange was out of town on council business.

Residents and MDC supporters said they were puzzled by what appeared like police continued selective application of justice.

“Last week a police officer in uniform pulled down MDC-T campaign posters bearing Morgan Tsvangirai’s picture in Cherutombo broad day light, ahead of the Premier’s visit. Despite MDC lodging a complaint at Marondera District Police Station, nothing was done to the ‘offending’ officer as police said MDC had pasted the posters in the vicinity of a police post,” said an MDC top official.

The official also claimed that out of an estimated 1 000 MDC-T posters displayed around the district, more than 700 were pulled down and destroyed by identified Zanu (PF) youths. No arrests were made like what happened to MDC youths. “Sunday, Zanu (PF) youths pulled down MDC-T posters and replaced them with those bearing Mugabe’s face at places where PM Morgan Tsvangirai was scheduled to visit.

Tuesday, vendors and other residents were shocked to witness Zanu (PF) council police officers pull down and tearing to pieces an MDC-T campaign poster at Dombotombo Vegetable Market.

Brian ‘Gwekwerere’ Phiri
Brian ‘Gwekwerere’ Phiri

“The council police officers arrived in a council truck and savagely tore down the poster bearing Tsvangirai’s smiling face. What surprised us was that when Zanu (PF) controlled the town, Mugabe’s posters were displayed at the market which was now no go area for MDC campaign material. We are also disturbed by the MDC-T city fathers’ helplessness in the face of political arrogance by the council police.

MDC runs the council and there is no reason why Tsvangirai’s councillors should be cowed by employees such as Mbizi. What are the city fathers afraid of? It is time Mugabe and Zanu (PF) are told that they no longer run the show here”, said a resident who had gone to the market to buy vegetables when the incident happened.

Investigations by the Zimbabwean revealed that the council police officers were working under instructions from Zanu (PF) council assistant fire and security officer, Jorum Mbizi. Mbizi is also Zanu (PF) vice provincial security officer.

Post published in: Politics

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