Tsvangirai under threat

The MDC-T has demanded the release of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's vehicles that were seized by the police, saying his security was now seriously threatened.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

The party’s deputy national chairman, Morgan Komichi said continuing to hold the PM's security vehicles was ample proof that some security chiefs did not respect Tsvangirai's office and considered him inferior to President Robert Mugabe, with whom he is supposed to share executive power.

"The security of our Prime Minister is at stake," Komichi said. "We call upon the people in authority, the head of state (Mugabe) and the Commissioner General (Augustine Chihuri) to intervene in the matter to release the vehicles impounded by the police.”

Two of the Prime Minister's drivers, Clifford Sanyika and Joshua Mhuriyengwe, were in February arrested at Beitbridge on an "innocuous charge" after they were found with siren beacons for the head of government's two Toyota Prado vehicles. The drivers were coming from South Africa where the vehicles had undergone routine upgrading of the siren and security systems.

Komichi said: "Article 80 of the GPA calls upon all parties to work together to ensure security of persons and property. The problem is that there is a selective application of values in Zimbabwe and some people still believe certain people are more equal than others. They do not accept the reality that the president of MDC is the PM of this nation."

Komichi said the accident which claimed Tsvangirai's wife Susan in 2009 could have been avoided if his vehicles had sirens.

"If the PM's vehicle had beeped, the man who was asleep could have been awakened and the accident could have been avoided," Komichi said.

An investigation into the accident concluded that the driver of a truck that collided with the premier's vehicle was probably asleep.

In an earlier statement, Tsvangirai's spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka said: "That official drivers of the Prime Minister could be harassed and detained and that the official vehicles of the Head of Government can be impounded is a clear signal of the continued persecution of the person and office of the PM."

In the run-up to the June 2008 run-off election, the Prime Minister's campaign vehicles were impounded and three years later, one of them remains impounded at Lupane police station.

"The Minister of State Security, Sydney Sekeramayi, made an undertaking that the vehicles would not be impounded but would instead be brought to Harare while the so-called case was being sorted out. The next thing was that the drivers were arrested and the vehicles impounded without any explanation," Tamborinyoka said.

"The only explanation for this political gimmick is that it fits in well with the perennial scheme by state security agents to persecute the Prime Minister. If state institutions have no respect for the Prime Minister, it can only be worse for ordinary Zimbabweans seeking security and protection from the same national institutions," he added.

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