One of the state witnesses in the treason case against Munyaradzi Gwisai and 45 others is a member of the state secret security service, Jonathan Soko, who gave the court details, through an affidavit, how security agents penetrated the Gwisai meeting without the organisers of the meeting suspecting anything.
Below is the intelligence officer’s affidavit:
“I Jonathan Soko aged 28 years do hereby make oath and swear that: I am employed by the Zimbabwe Republic Police holding the rank of Detective Sergeant. I am currently attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit and based at Harare Central.
“I know the accused only in connection with the case.
“On 19 February 2011, I was on duty and I was assigned by my superiors to cover a political meeting that had not been sanctioned which was to be held at Cross Roads House, 43 Julius Nyerere Way, Harare. The intended speakers were said to be Lovemore Matombo (ZCTU), Obert Masaruure (Zinasu), J Chirenje (MPAWUZ), Munyaradzi Gwisai (ISO) and chaired by T Sando (ISO) (whom I know as Antionator Choto).
“I got to the venue at about 13:45hrs before the meeting had commenced so as (to avoid) the vetting process. When the vetting process commenced outside the room, I was already seated and it seemed I had already been vetted so I remained in the room. Over 40 people were vetted as they entered the room by way of presenting the programme with the ISO emblem and headed ‘ISO calls on workers, students and the working people to support the struggle in solidarity with Egyptian and Tunisian workers’ and stating their organisation and how they got to know about the meeting. Everyone who attended was in possession of the invitation document (programme).
“When everyone was seated the meeting was called to order by Antonater Choto who told participants that they were invited for a revolutionary cause but before deliberations could start, they were to be shown a video about the Egyptian revolution as they wait for other speakers.
“A video footage of events in the Egyptian revolt was shown from a laptop computer and projector by Michael Sozinyu and after the video Choto told the meeting that Lovemore Matombo of ZCTU who was billed to speak could no longer make it to address the meeting hence they could start. She told the meeting that the speakers were to deliberate on the lessons poor Zimbabweans and workers could learn from the Egypt revolt and how best Zimbabwe can implement the Egypt revolt so as to remove a dictator and a system of oppression.
“Welcome Zimuto of Zinasu, Hopewell Gumbo of Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development, Edson Chakuma of the Food and Allied Workers’ Union and Munyaradzi Gwisai (ISO) gave speeches in this order. These speeches were aimed at inciting public violence as they told the meeting that it is possible for the people to revolt against government and cause the resignation of the president as witnessed in Egypt. They said what is needed is unity of purpose, mobilisation and proper strategising. They said people should start sending text messages and e-mails urging them to revolt against the government which they described as causing the suffering of
Zimbabweans. They said there is need to remove President Mugabe from office because he was a dictator. They also said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should not be allowed to replace President Mugabe as he was a capitalist and a stooge of the West.
“Choto would moderate after every speaker and would churn out slogans like viva socialism viva, a luta continua, abacha chingoyoka which were responded to by the participants who participated in the sloganeering.
“After the speeches Choto invited contributions from the floor as she asked participants to say what they had learned from the Egypt revolt video and what Zimbabweans can do to achieve what the Egyptians achieved.
“The meeting was however disrupted at this juncture and before anyone could speak a word that police details had surrounded the building and were demanding entry into the building reached the meeting.
“Gwisai then told everyone not to panic and asked everyone to pretend as if they were having a church service and this is when Pastor Reki Jim started church songs and everyone sang along. Some of the participants however went to an adjacent phone shop and pretended to be customers. Gwisai also ordered the removal of the banner pinned to the walls with the messages ‘The choice now is socialism’.
He also ordered for the programme to be collected from everyone.
“Police details then managed to gain entry and rounded up everyone and took them to Harare Police Station.”