'CIO members' seize MDC T-shirts, cash

HARARE - Suspected state security agents on Sunday confiscated 3 300 T-shirts, party cards, receipt books and $1 800 from mainstream MDC supporters in Karoi as they prepared for their party’s 13th anniversary celebrations scheduled for Bulawayo at the weekend.

The party’s spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed to the Daily News that his party supporters were distributing party T-shirts as well as collecting cash for party cards when they were approached by two men claiming to be members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) who asked them to lie down on their tummies as they grabbed a bag full of T-shirts, receipt books and cash before they left.

“We heard that our people were gathered at Karoi Bus Terminus where the provincial organising secretary was distributing our 13th anniversary T-shirts as well as collecting money for the cards that were sold when these guys appeared.

“They claimed they were CIO and asked them to lie down before they took away a bag with 3 300 T-shirts,    $1 800 and our receipt books. This is why it is vital to have our security sector realigned and Sadc is seized with the matter. We also call upon the police to act and ensure that the thieves are brought to book otherwise we will not let the CIO go with our material,” said Mwonzora.

Mwonzora appealed to the inclusive government Principals to speedily address the issue of security sector realignment as it was an outstanding issue. The matter has since been reported to the police.

“The police are handling the issue but as a party we call upon the leaders of the inclusive government to be proactive to cure this cancer vexing our political discourse whereby state security agents are blatantly partisan,” he added.

Meanwhile Mashonaland West provincial organising secretary Wilson Makanyaire says the party is worried their T-shirts might be used to commit crimes which will be blamed on his party.

He added that some MDC officials who were part of the group gathered at the bus stop were detained together with the suspected agents.

Ward 25 chairperson Robert Chiranda (Hurungwe West), John Mapowo Ward 26 chairperson (Hurungwe West), Ward 10 chairperson John Karengesha (Magunje) and Evans Matavire are some of the members detained.

Makanyaire said: “The moment we made a report to the police our members were taken into police custody ostensibly to record statements but up to now they have not been released.

They were detained together with the members of CIO and we are worried about their safety because we do not trust the police.

“The attitude of the CIO is archaic and should be condemned in the strongest terms. We know they want to use our T-shirts to commit crimes and blame MDC. They must just return our property”.

Police in Karoi confirmed the incident. “We are dealing with the case but you can phone later. I don’t want to be interrogated by you,” said officer-in-charge of Karoi Police Station only identified as Manyika before he switched off.

The MDC has found it really difficult to operate in Mashonaland West Province home to President Robert Mugabe. Ugly scenes of violence allegedly perpetrated by Zanu PF working hand in glove with the police and army have been reported whenever the party has attempted to carry out their political activities.

The police have been demanding that the party be cleared by traditional leaders and council officials before they could clear their rallies which the party has resisted. - Mugove Tafirenyika


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