POLICE in Mutare have arrested MDC-T Manicaland provincial chairperson Julius Magarangoma for allegedly threatening to harm a headman two years ago, a move that has been roundly condemned and described as persecution.
Report by Obey Manayiti, Staff Reporter
Magarangoma handed himself at Mutare Central Police Station on Thursday morning in the company of his lawyer Blessing Nyamaropa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, following reports that he was on the wanted list.
According to Nyamaropa, Magarangoma was then charged with contravening section 180 sub section 1 (b) as read in section 47 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act which provides that there were threats to commit murder.
It is understood that on October 1, 2010, Magarangoma reportedly sent people who threatened to harm Mutizwa Mhondiwa, a known Zanu PF supporter in Dorowa.
Mhondiwa, who held several Zanu PF positions, is also headman for Kendenge village in Dorowa.
Magarangoma was released from police custody after police recorded a warned-and-cautioned statement from him. The police indicated that they would proceed by way of summons.
He became the latest senior MDC-T official to be arrested after police, in almost similar fashion, arrested Energy minister Elton Mangoma early this month, for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe early this year.
Magarangoma, who denied sending people to harm the village head, told NewsDay soon after his release that he did not know the complainant in the matter.
“I suspect this is politically motivated and I actually don’t know the complainant. I don’t remember sending people to attack this man or destroy his homestead. This could be ZanuPF’s way of trying to unsettle the province ahead of the forthcoming general elections,”Magarangoma said.
The MDC-T won 20 out of 26 constituencies in Manicaland in the 2008 harmonised elections.