FIVE MDC-T activists from Chief Mvuthu’s area in Hwange West have been arrested on allegations of breaking into a warehouse and looting government-sourced maize seed which they doled out to fellow party supporters after they were denied the same seed by a local Zanu PF official.
BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
Officer commanding Victoria Falls police Chief Superintendent Jairos Chiwona said the suspects, Alfred Moyo, Phumulani Ndlovu, Lovemore Ndlovu, Phephisiwe Dube and Dumisani Khumalo, were arrested on Thursday and are expected to appear in court once investigations have been completed.
“They were arrested yesterday (Thursday) and the docket is still being crafted. They will appear in court once everything is done, for now they are still helping with investigations. We did not arrest the beneficiaries because they only received from the accused.”
The activists’ lawyer Thulani Nkala said his clients were said to have used harmful objects to break into the warehouse before distributing the seeds to local people who had been left out in the seed distribution exercise.
“Police told me that they stormed Ndlovu Centre armed with knobkerries, knives, axes among other deadly objects and broke into the storehouse. They took the seeds that a Zanu PF official had denied them. They are facing charges of robbery,” said Nkala.
The arrests follow an earlier incident where the MDC-T supporters were denied the seed handouts by Zanu PF women’s league vice-chairperson for Kachechete ward Beauty Moyo who claimed the inputs were only meant for ruling party supporters.
According to Grain Marketing Board officials, the free inputs were supposed to benefit the 1 176 households from Kachechete ward regardless of their political party affiliation.
On Tuesday, Moyo said she was undeterred by allegations levelled against her and vowed to continue denying government aid to MDC-T activists although President Robert Mugabe has strongly warned against the practice.
Chiwona said Moyo would not be charged for partisan distribution of government inputs as the issue was more political than criminal.