MDC, Zapu Federal Party blame police action on Mugabe

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The MDC and Zapu Federal Party have blamed President Robert Mugabe for the alleged police crackdown on dissenting voices following Zanu PF’s reported refusal to implement security sector reforms.

Zapu Federal Party leader Agrippa Madlela said as head of the country’s security forces, the Zanu PF leader had the power to deal with unruly police to stop the arbitrary arrest of his opponents and civil society activists.

Addressing a Zimbabwe Election Support Network-organised meeting in Bulawayo yesterday, MDC Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Edwin Ndlovu said the current wave of violence targeting MDC leaders and civic groups was reportedly being instigated by the police.

The meeting was held to discuss the country’s preparedness to hold elections.

“One of the major aspects that we stand for in government as MDCs is to reform the security sector. At the moment the security sector still behaves in a partisan manner and MDC parties cannot control them,” said Ndlovu.

“The current wave of arrests of ministers by the police is violence which instils fear in the people. This makes people think if police could belittle ministers in that way, what more of the general citizens?” he said.

He said violence was being fuelled by leaders preaching peace in the public but inciting violence behind the scenes.

Madlela said Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s declaration that he was a Zanu PF supporter, meant the police force was under Zanu PF control.

But Zanu PF central committee member Godfrey Malaba refuted the allegations saying the country’s coalition government partners had equal control over the security sector.

“At the moment we rule this country together as parties. We have two ministers, one from MDC-T and the other from Zanu PF. These have equal power on the police and are the ones who control the force. If ministers are arrested, the blame must be placed on the two ministers, not Zanu PF,” he said.

Recently, Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone confessed she had no control over the police because the force was taking orders solely from Zanu PF.