Police raid ZESN offices

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police yesterday raided the offices of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) in Harare and Masvingo as the onslaught on civil society continues.

Report by Moses Matenga\Tatenda Chitagu

Officers from the police Law and Order section yesterday raided offices of  ZESN.

According to the search warrant that police produced before yesterday’s action in Harare, the raid was to search for  “any subversive material, documents, gadgets or recordings and any illegal immigrants at Number 10 Rochester Road, Belgravia, Harare”.

Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone expressed concern over the continued onslaught on civil society saying the police were becoming an embarrassment, especially as no incriminating evidence emerged out of their actions.

“Its beginning to be an embarrassment because daily we are reciving such reports. It gives an impression of harassment and it becomes difficult for me to defend. I spoke to minister (Kembo) Mohadi and I think we have found a way to deal with the issue,” Makone said.

She declined to say how the two had decided to handle the issue saying they would reveal their plan today. She, however, expressed fears, if the police continued on this path, of the possibility of the outcome of the forthcoming elections being contested.

She said: “It will make any outcome unacceptable. We should ensure the outcome is not contested and (that instead) the loser congratulates the winner.”

The raids come amid Cabinet concerns on the development. Makone and Mohadiwere last week ordered by Cabinet to investigate the police action, especially as complaints indicated unjustified harassment of civil society organisations (CSOs) by the police.

Police recently raided the Zimbabwe Peace Project, ZimRights in Harare and the National Youth Development Trust in Bulawayo searching for evidence of alleged subversion.

There were no arrests made following the raids, sparking claims of election-related intimidation of civil society.

When NewsDay arrived at the ZESN offices during the raid yesterday, police detectives were still conducting their search, but apparently they found nothing.

They left empty-handed, but promised to return.

In Masvingo, suspected State agents broke into the ZESN offices and got away with T-shirts and chairs.

Attempts to take away a desktop computer failed after an alert security guard tipped police bikers on patrol who got to the scene before the agents had completed ransacking the offices.

They then dropped the desktop computer and fled in their gate-away cars — two unmarked twin cab vehicles — according to sources.

Last week Tsvangirai condemned police action on CSOs during his meeting with their representatives and condemned “the vilification and harassment of civil society, which painted a negative image of the country at a time we need all the (world’s) confidence”.

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10 Responses to Police raid ZESN offices

  1. We De Mbare February 20, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Theresa Makone should not cry foul over the police action as she was siding with them a few days ago after the police had refused to have its members declare their assets!

    • Minister T. Makone February 20, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      Will declaration of assets stop harassment of civilians and civic organizations? Senior leadership of the executive should set the example in that direction. If those who are elected to control the levers of power refuse to expose their wealth as required by law, where do we get the moral strength to force those who are below us to do the same? I have declared my assets together with a few MPs but why is the majority not being forced to follow suit? When the Executive,i.e. leadership of government and members of the cabine,t and MPs have NOT declared their wealth, it remains academic as to whether or not one can legitimately force the ZRP to declare their assets. I am not aware that the ZRP, is required to declare their assets ahead of the ZNA, AIRFORCE and PRISONS. If so I would be most obliged if someone can point me to that legislation so that I can execute it.

  2. people power February 20, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    Ka Theresa takakaudza kudhara kuti kari helpless. Kaitraya kuita curry favour mhondi nevaori mapurisa kachi defenda corruption yavo hona manje. Ende havatereri maorders ako. Havatombozivi kuti kuna Minister Home affairs Makone. Ukanzwa mapurisa achiti hatidi noise nguva yemaelections vanenge vachireva kuti maMDC musaita noise yekuchema kana maakurohwa nemathugs eZPF.Hanzi ifai munyerere. If Bob is serious about nonviolence in elections he must fire Chihuri the chief thug. Anything short of that is cheap talk. Va Ian Khama was spot on about the old man.

    • Minister T. Makone February 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

      Thanks for that description “ka”, it makes me feel petite, something I have always yearned to be.

  3. shapiro February 20, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Only a fool will believe anyone will do anything without Bob’s blessing in this country. If Bob seriously wants anything stopped its just one word.If members of the politburo are so afraid of him what more small boys like Chihuri, Chiwenga, Jabulani Sibanda etc.Its all well planned to decieve the gullible ones amongst us.

  4. Nhene Ntamonkulu February 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Thula wena lema lomfazi. Police work on orders from both Mugabe and Tswangirai. The raiding of these offices is nothing compared to Tswangirai’s appointment of Jacob Mudenda as a Human Rights Commision and Zanupf Judge Makarau as Chairperson of the ZEC. MDC-T are just a clumsy JOKE. You do not know what you want.

  5. cde kereke February 20, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    musangoti vanhu vakaraider kumasvingo mastate argents because hamuna kuvabata. Ko kana vari vanhu vemdc kanazvimwe zvigeven’a zvazvo? Why do you want to be aganist zanu always? Stop your sh**t before you get into trouble.

  6. Chenhamo chimutengwende February 21, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    Zanu pf is a party full of idiots old horses whos are still thinking in the most ancient primmitive old ages. They still believe banning of radios with a short bands will hel? Vanotuka varungu asi vachida mastrutegy avo. Smith did it asi akangoruza ma election. They knoe prety well that zim population , more than 70 per cent is below 35 yrs and this group does nt even need all this. Kungondovota then zanu pf will be history. Madununu asingafunge , anachihuri vofunga nepi uropi hwazara ne ma ARV . Ana mandipaka , ma permanant subscribers ARV production companies. Those a moving dead bodies and i tel u can do anything coz have nothinng to lose!!!

  7. peter February 21, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Vote zanu pf for freedom, prosperity, owners of your resources, and total control of your country,total indepndenceeeee, vote wisely, nyika ndeyedu iyi. zivai pekuisa vote yenyu , rangarirayi kwatakabva uye kuti nyika yakabva kupi. ndapedza hangu…i won’t talk about this puppet driven party anyway i.e mdc-t

  8. Kay February 21, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    @ peter…wat freedom r u tokin abt,freedom to be denied access to information,izvozvi your party is behind e banning of radios in remote areas and u call that freedom.Here is a piece of advice GO TO HELL.

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