Selective application of the law by police once more came under spotlight this week following claims by MDC-T activists that the violence which claimed the life of party supporter Cephas Magura in Mudzi on Sunday took place in full view of police officers.
Magura, who will be buried at his rural home in the area tomorrow, was stoned to death by suspected Zanu PF supporters who allegedly came and disrupted a police-sanctioned MDC-T rally at Chimukoko business centre.
Taurai Kakore, MDC-T information officer for Mudzi North district, told a visiting Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) provincial team, which was on a fact-finding mission on Wednesday, that the police did not move in to contain the violence despite being armed.
Jomic is a cross-party body responsible for handling complaints relating to the implementation of the Global Political Agreement.
“There were three policemen at Chimukoko business centre with guns. We asked them why they were there when they were not acting when Zanu PF supporters were running amok pelting people with stones,” Kakore said.
He said one policeman called for reinforcement from Kotwa, Nyamapanda, Murehwa and Mutoko police stations at 10am when the violence erupted but no reinforcement came.
“The police here are not serving any purpose to us. We have reported over 600 cases of violence involving Zanu PF supporters, but no arrests have been made.
“One member-in-charge at Kotwa Police Station called Magodo openly told us that he would not assist MDC-T activists,” said Kakore.
The MDC-T has been calling for State security sector reforms, accusing forces like the police of being biased towards Zanu PF.
“Mudzi North Zanu PF legislator Milton Kachepa was directly involved in the violence. He bought Zanu PF supporters some beer the night before the violent clashes and used his car to ferry them to Chimukoko business centre to disrupt a lawfully-sanctioned rally. He even used his car to block vehicles carrying MDC-T supporters to the venue, but he is walking scot-free,” Kakore said.
Kachepa, Kakore said, was bragging saying Zanu PF called the shots in the inclusive government and no one would arrest him.
Six Zanu PF supporters, including a ward councillor, David Chimukoko, who is alleged to have thrown the stone that killed Magura, have since been arrested.
Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena dismissed the allegations, saying the police had a constitutional mandate to protect anyone regardless of political affiliation. “If indeed the police were negligent, that will come up in our investigations. We sent our team and arrests have been made and we will continue investigating the matter,” Bvudzijena said. Kachepa was continuously reported to be in a meeting when NewsDay sought a comment from him.