MDC-T youth president Solomon Madzore finally tasted freedom yesterday after 13 months in remand custody when he was released from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
CHARLES LAITON/MOSES MATENGA
Madzore and another MDC-T activist, Lovemore Taruvinga Magaya, who together with 27 other party activists face allegations of murdering Police Inspector Petros Mutedza in Glen View last year, were granted $500 bail each on Tuesday.
The MDC-T youth leader walked out of prison gates to tumultuous applause from hundreds of party faithful, his wife Charity and their two children. MDC-T supporters sang party songs and scores of members of the party’s youth league chanted slogans as they accorded their leader a hero’s welcome.
They then accompanied him to Harvest House, the MDC-T headquarters, where bigger crowds waited to hear his address.
At Harvest House, Madzore, who has been nicknamed “Mandela”, was welcomed by the party’s national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.
In his address, Madzore said Zanu PF was fooled to believe that by incarcerating him, the youth league would be crippled.
“When I was incarcerated, I said if Zanu PF thought they had dealt with me, they didn’t know that there was more out there. There is no power without tasting prison. I heard (Justice minister Patrick) Chinamasa and (Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare) Gumbo saying soldiers will intervene if (MDC-T leader Morgan) Tsvangirai wins the next elections. We don’t give a damn what Chinamasa said. All we know is that we outnumber them and there is strength in numbers,” he said.
Madzore’s elder brother Paul Madzore, who is MP for Glen View, said: “It’s so touching. This is more emotional than the days he was incarcerated. It puts an enormous bond between the family and the party and individuals in the party. We are touched as a family.”
Chamisa said the MDC-T was welcoming a hero who represented the struggle for a new Zimbabwe.
“He is here, but others are still locked up. You must know that the door to a new Zimbabwe is at Chikurubi, but we can’t all go there, so he was representing us there. Before you get freedom, you must lose it,” he said.
After being granted bail on Tuesday, Madzore remained in prison yet another day as papers authorising his release were not in order.