PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday moved to act on the police clampdown on his party, approaching Acting President Joice Mujuru with whom he had a lengthy meeting at her Munhumutapa offices.
Report by Everson Mushava
Tsvangirai was also expected to meet with Home Affairs co-ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone as well as police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri as police refused to release top lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa despite a High Court order.
Meetings with Mohadi, Makone and Chihuri failed to take place, according to sources at the Prime Minister’s Office. Mtetwa, who was representing Tsvangirai’s staffers arrested on Sunday morning, was herself arrested and thrown into police cells while in the process of securing her client’s freedom.
Her lawyer Harrison Nkomo was granted a High Court order to secure Mtetwa’s release early yesterday morning, but the police refused to let her go. Mtetwa and four staffers from Tsvangirai’s office were as of last night detained at Rhodesville Police Station in Harare.
“This morning, I met with the acting President,Amai Mujuru, to update her on this needless swoop on my office…,” Tsvangirai said after his meeting with the Acting President.
“The Acting President assured me she would meet with the Commissioner-General of Police.
“The targeting of my office is reprehensible and is meant to harass and intimidate the nation ahead of the election, now that we are done with the referendum.”
Tsvangirai said he had also met with the Sadc observer team, led by Tomaz Salomão on Sunday night and “impressed upon the region, as guarantors of our agreement, to ensure that we implement all the reforms, particularly security sector and media reforms.
“We certainly cannot have a police force that arrests people with impunity and then fails to charge them, even though the alleged charges have been told to the media.”
Tsvangirai said his party was working to make the environment conducive for a free and fair election “even in the wake of the recent heinous acts, ranging from the murder of Christpowers Maisiri to this wanton and undignified arrest of innocent staff in my office, including a breastfeeding mother, Anna Muzvidziwa, who was picked up at church yesterday”.
Tsvangirai said he had asked the Sadc observer team to immediately call for an urgent Sadc summit to deal with the new Zimbabwean crisis.