A truck-load of armed riot police reportedly swooped on MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s scheduled private meeting with opinion leaders in Hurungwe in President Robert Mugabe’s home province of Mashonaland West.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said armed police descended on the venue in village 22 in the Nyamakate area and allegedly threatened the property owner, Tadius Mazuduri, who refused to budge.
He said the team of nine, that was armed with guns and teargas and led by Makuti officer in charge an Inspector Mugari, only moved away after they were confronted by villagers who refused to have their rights violated.
He said Tsvangirai later addressed the community leaders and told them that they had an opportunity to end the culture of impunity in next year’s elections, where Mugabe is expected to face a united opposition.
“The police’s attempted disruption of the meeting confirmed President Tsvangirai’s message during his provincial tours, that though the country was independent, Zimbabweans did not enjoy the requisite freedoms for which they waged a brutal war and which freedoms are enshrined in the Constitution,” Tamborinyoka said.
Tsvangirai is on the last leg of his provincial tours, where he is meeting opinion makers, among them traditional and church leaders, as well as business persons to gather their views on the proposed grand coalition with other opposition parties.
Meanwhile, 11 Beitbridge MDC-T members, including losing parliamentary elections candidate, Morgan Ncube and a woman with a baby, were yesterday arrested in a late afternoon raid.
Among those who were arrested were Elliot Maveza, Nicholas Tsvanhu and Elliot Mamombe, who lost the 2013 council elections.
They are being accused of holding unsanctioned meetings after allegedly going on a door-to-door voter education campaign.
Police in Beitbridge were not answering their phones until the time of going print.
An MDC-T source said the group including a woman with a nine-month-old baby, had been in custody pending court appearance.
The MDC-T, a larger splinter of the labour-based opposition formed in 1999, has since then been trying to unseat the Zanu-PF government led by 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.