AT least 673 Zanu PF members from the Mashonaland East provincial women’s league were caught on the wrong side of the law after they allegedly tried to smuggle into Zimbabwe second-hand clothes from Mozambique recently.
Report by Obey Manayiti Staff Reporter
The group comprised of the party’s national deputy political commissar for the women’s league Alice Mtindori and Hurungwe East MP Sarah Mahoka as well as Mutoko North MP Mabel Chinomona.
Although Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Enock Chishiri professed ignorance over the matter, police correspondence seen by NewsDay confirmed that 673 Zanu PF members from Mashonaland East province who had visited Chimoio Shrine on October 16 tried to smuggle goods through Forbes Border Post.
Read part of the internal police memorandum: “On the same date (October 17), the delegation was moving in a convoy of 10 buses and two private vehicles and they came back to Zimbabwe via Forbes Border Post. The delegation managed to buy secondhand goods from Mozambique and repacked them into Shangani bags.
“While at the border, the people were only allowed by Zimra (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) to take six pieces each and the remaining was to be weighed and duty was to be paid. Some managed to pay for some goods they had while others did not have the money required by Zimra. One bale of second-hand clothes and several Shangani bags with second-hand goods were seized by Zimra.”
Over the past few years, Zanu PF members have taken turns to tour the Chimoio Shrine in Mozambique where hundreds of former freedom fighters were buried in mass graves during the liberation struggle.
However, the trips have occasionally courted controversy as the party activists attempt to forcibly smuggle large quantities of goods without clearance by Zimra.
A few months ago, another group with over 170 women and led by Last Mbisvo, Zanu PF Harare secretary for education, fought running battles with the police after they tried to smuggle goods from Mozambique.
The party activists were later arrested in Mutare after gate-crashing the border post with their uncleared goods.