Discord is simmering within the MDC-T top brass over Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone’s recent remarks that the police were now executing their duties professionally.
MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said the party position was that the law was being selectively applied.
“The change is difficult to feel.
We are hardly feeling the change — if it is there at all — because a lot of our supporters are still facing selective application of the law,” he said.
“The law is blind when it comes to Zanu PF but it develops multiple eyes on MDC supporters, even when they are innocent.”
Chamisa said more than 200 MDC-T supporters had been killed in politically-related violence but police had to date not taken any action.
“Not that we want retribution, but the facts are glaring. For example, I was attacked at the airport but nothing was done. Disruptions on the farms are continuing and people are still being threatened.
“Recently war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda threatened people in Masvingo but nothing was done.
“The belief by the Home Affairs co-minister that our police has changed is subjective but facts are objective. I believe the comments were inclusive but the party position is that there is selective application of the law.”
Senior MDC-T members said Makone’s statements were coming at a time when police were increasingly turning a blind eye to violence against MDC-T supporters.
They said in most instances police were arresting MDC-T supporters who were in fact victims of politically-motivated violence.
“I do not know where Madam Makone got this from,” said Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC-T spokesperson in Manicaland. “She speaks on behalf of Cabinet on issues to do with the Home Affairs ministry and I speak on behalf of the MDC here in Manicaland.
“Maybe the word ‘professional’ has a different meaning. I disagree with the minister’s utterances.
Police are our main enemy here in Manicaland.
“They are arresting victims who would be seeking protection and assistance from them. I do not want to mislead the people of Manicaland who have suffered at the hands of the police.”
Muchauraya said MDC-T supporters who were seeking assistance and protection at police stations in Manicaland were instead being arrested and detained.
Muchauraya, who is also the MP for Makoni South, added: “The police are worse than Zanu PF. MDC supporters are being beaten up in the presence of the police. Those who would have been assaulted are then arrested.”
He disputed Makone’s claims, saying: “What I am saying is that the police could be professional elsewhere other than Manicaland, especially when it comes to issues to do with politics.
“They are arresting the victims. We had serious violence in Nyanga South a few days ago but the police arrested MDC-T supporters who were victims.
Some had serious injuries but they were detained.”
He said the MDC-T had tabulated about 10 000 cases of politically-motivated violence against the party’s supporters since June 2008.
He said cases of politically-motivated violence were rampant in many parts of Chimanimani and Chipinge but the police were not protecting or assisting MDC-T supporters.
Nyanga North legislator Douglas Mwonzora said the police were not applying the law equally and uniformly.
He cited an incident which happened at Nyadowa Business Centre, where seven people attacked a rally that he was addressing but were overpowered, arrested and taken to the police.
The police, however, arrested the victims and took them to court where prosecutors dismissed the case.
He said a Copac team leader was also assaulted by a group of youths during the outreach programme in Nyamaropa in the presence of the police but no action was taken.
Last week Makone claimed the police were now executing their duties in a professional manner, saying: “The wheels of government move slowly, at a snail’s pace. But I can assure you that everything has been looked at and there is no more hiding behind a finger of someone powerful.
“As I speak right now everything is being affected – all court orders are being implemented, work is being done as the country moves forward. We are doing our job.”