Relatives and friends of the late Augustine Mahute, an MDC-T activist who died in police cells in Mbare on Tuesday, fled with the coffin carrying the deceased to Harvest House, the MDC-T headquarters, as marauding Zanu PF youths allegedly tried to hijack the body at the funeral.
The mourners, according to a statement by the MDC-T, claimed they were being continuously harassed by Zanu PF youths who were threatening to beat them up.
“The terrified mourners brought the coffin carrying the deceased to Harvest House on Tuesday after they had been ordered away from their flats in Mbare,” the MDC-T said in a statement on Thursday.
Piniel Denga, Member of Parliament for Mbare, yesterday said they only took the body back to Mbare after the intervention of the police who provided security during the funeral. Mahute was finally buried on Wednesday at Granville Cemetery in Harare.
“He was buried yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon after police provided security to the mourners,” he said.
Harare police provincial spokesperson Inspector James Sabau said he would check with his colleagues at Matapi Police Station before commenting.
Meanwhile, Denga yesterday said the youths who were forced out of their stalls at the Boomgate market managed to seek council and police protection to reclaim their markets although there was resistance from Zanu PF youths.
The MDC-T expressed concern over the resurgence of violence and the displacement of people by Zanu PF activists, but warned that Zanu PF would come out as a “crying loser”.
“The MDC notes with concern the resurgence of violence and displacement of thousands of innocent people in Mbare, Harare, with the open endorsement of Zanu PF,” the party again said in a statement.
“The party wishes to caution the perpetrators that they are spoiling for conflagration and unnecessary mayhem from which Zanu PF would certainly emerge as a crying loser. Against this background, the MDC calls on the police to act decisively on the purported evictions and the violence in Mbare. That Zanu PF youth leaders can dislodge and harass innocent and law-abiding citizens with impunity . . . is totally unacceptable.”
The MDC-T said it would not allow Zanu PF to capture lost political ground using violence and called on police to act.
“Zimbabweans have suffered enough and are not going to endure another political semester of tears and blood. By turning to violence in 2010 and even beyond, Zanu PF must gear itself for yet another undignified exit from Zimbabwe’s political spectrum.”