Tsvangira's staff to appear in court today

HARARE - Four officials from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act, possessing articles for criminal use and impersonating the police appear in court today.

Thabani Mpofu, Mehluli Tshuma, Felix Matsinde and Warship Dumba, who all work in Tsvangirai’s research and development office, will appear at Harare Magistrates Court this morning as trial continues.

Mpofu faces two other separate charges of failing to secure a firearm and renew its licence.

The four were arrested on March 17 and stayed incarcerated for about a week as magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa denied them bail and remanded them in custody to April 3.

They were only released on $500 bail each after High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu overruled Gofa’s decision saying the magistrate gave scant reasons for denying the four bail.

Barely two weeks after the four were picked up, two officers employed in the PM’s media and communication wing, Zororai Mudariki and Brian Mutusva, were also arrested.

Since the end of last year, State security agents intensified a nationwide crackdown on civil society and individuals in what critics say is a campaign targeted at those viewed as anti-Zanu PF.

The onslaught has seen the police banning short wave radio sets, arresting civil society leaders and raiding offices of non-governmental organisations. - Wendy Muperi

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