HomeLocal NewsMP arrested over ‘death threats’

MP arrested over ‘death threats’

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Masvingo Central MDC-T MP Jeffreyson Chitando was yesterday arrested on allegations of making threatening telephone calls to Chief Murinye, born Ephias Munodawafa.

Chitando’s lawyer, Martin Mureri, told NewsDay Chitando was briefly detained at Masvingo Central Police Station under case number CR 25/03/12.

He said Chitando was released three hours after signing a warned and cautioned statement.

“Hon Chitando was under arrest for the past three hours before being released after writing a warned and cautioned statement. The chief reported him to the police saying he had issued death threats to him. But he (Chitando) never said that,” Mureri said.

Efforts to get a comment from Masvingo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tinaye Matake proved fruitless as he was said to be out of office yesterday and unreachable on his mobile phone.

Chitando, however, confirmed calling the traditional leader on his mobile phone, but denied charges of making death threats.

“I just called him and told him that I was not going to attend his court because he had already judged and fined me,” Chitando said.

The tiff between the two started last year after Murinye summoned Chitando to appear at his traditional court to answer charges of undermining his authority, but the MP snubbed the summons.

Last month, Chief Murinye summoned Chitando again over allegations of causing disharmony in the area.

In the summons, the chief ordered the MP to pay two cattle and a goat, as well as $5 for the court to sit on April 1.

Chitando described his row with Chief Murinye as politically-motivated, adding he had since reported the matter to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee.

“This is no longer a traditional matter, but is now a political war,” Chitando said.

“I am no longer taking him as a traditional leader, but as an ambassador of Zanu PF. I only called him to say I was not going to come to his court, and the next thing I hear is that I made death threats to him, something which I did not do.”

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