Police caution MDC official

HARARE - Police in Chivhu have arrested an official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party on allegations of waving his party symbol to a senior police officer.

MDC deputy district chairperson for Chikomba West Patrick Chipo Gwini was arrested in Chivhu and was detained for about four hours.

Gwini said the police alleged that on Tuesday he provoked a Dispol minor only identified as Superintendent Mutasa by waving the open palm MDC salute at him.

He has not been formally charged but was ordered to report again to the police.

Gwini denies the allegations claiming the police had a bone to chew with him after he accused them of being partisan at a recent meeting with political parties.

“They are accusing me of gesturing an open palm at Mutasa but I was just greeting him,” Gwini said.

“At the station they accused me of not respecting senior police officers because I had told them as a party we were concerned by their partisan approach when they deal with political cases.

Officer commanding Chikomba district Lameck Tsoka said Gwini was cautioned to create a harmonious working relationship in view of the forthcoming elections.

“The issue is that the guy is an MDC activist and attended an inter-party liaison meeting that we had called for early this month. He had a negative attitude towards us and he behaved like he had a personal grudge with Mutasa and yesterday he waved his party symbol at him.

“It is true the accused raised the issue at the Pennfather meeting where we admitted as police that we were found wanting but he particularly took aim at Mutasa despite that we had eventually solved the matter amicably.

“He has not been arrested per se but we just wanted to caution him because we want to create a good working relationship with political parties ahead of elections,” said Tsoka.

The arrest of MDC activists for what the party says are trumped up charges ahead of elections is on the increase in Mashonaland East Province.

The party’s chairperson in the Province Piniel Denga and other party activists yesterday jointly appeared before the Chivhu  Magistrates’ Court on allegations of holding an illegal meeting at Chikwidibire in Chivhu late last year. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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