Zvidzai who was the Deputy Local Government minister during the 2009-13 Government of National Unity (GNU), was arrested over the weekend by police Law and Order details who claimed he smuggled into the country 847 walkie-talkies in 2010 for distribution in remote areas where villagers have little access to information.
The radio receivers were also compatible in areas with no electricity as they are solar-powered.
“The police do not mention when exactly the radios were smuggled. They are also not telling us why the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority which deals with imports is not the complainant in the case. Again, the radio stations are just written they were made in China but everyone knows that one can buy in local shops items that are dubbed ‘Made in China.’
“The police are also failing to show us proof showing which border they were smuggled through or whether it was by air or road. This therefore makes the allegations against the good MP senseless. The courts should not allow such kind of an abuse to their systems which have serious matters to handle,” said Dube.
In 2010, Cleopas Shiri, the then Democratic Councils Forum (Demcof) Training Manager, was picked up by the same police details and had his office ransacked. He was accused of importing the radios in question. He was, however, later acquitted by Gweru magistrate, Rutendo Muchena. The police are understood to be making a follow up on that case since Zvidzai is a Trustee of Demcof.
“Zvidzai is not the only Trustee of that organisation. Besides, Trustees can make partnerships with other organisations to obtain certain equipment and so to say he smuggled the radios is just as baseless as it is with no spine,” said Dube.
When Shiri was arrested and had his offices ransacked by the police in 2010 over the radios, Zanu (PF), which views rural areas as its stronghold, was understood to be opposed to their distribution on the basis that masses would listen to stations critical of the party’s policies.Post published in: News