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MRP petitions over State brutality

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BY SILAS NKALA
THE Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) has petitioned President Emmerson Mnangagwa over State brutality on its members following incarceration of nine members for violence.

Last week, Bulawayo magistrate Tavengwa Sangster jailed nine MRP members. Welcome Moyo and Mongameli Xukuthwayo Mlotshwa were jailed for 36 months, while the  other seven aged between 50 and 73; Nkosinathi Ncube, Tinos Nkomo, Levison Ncube, Sibongile Banda, Busi Moyo, Ackim Ndebele and Maxwell Nkosi were slapped with 33-month jail terms each.

Party leader Mqondisi Moyo yesterday wrote to Mnangagwa accusing him of violating his party members’ rights.

The petition was copied to Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner-General Moses Chinobvu and Bulawayo magistrate Tavengwa Sangster.

He also copied the British embassy, the United States of America embassy, Australian embassy and the United Kingdom’s House of Lords.

“I want to draw your attention to the nine members of my party who got arrested on March 10, 2021 for visiting Bulawayo Central Police Station to enquire about a failed abduction on me by State security agents who numbered about 30,” Moyo wrote.

“Some were in military uniform, police uniform, while others were in civilian clothing and were heavily armed, which was enough evidence of their intention to harm, either by killing or abduction. On the same night, your men also visited one of my security personnel and our national youth chairperson. Luckily the two were not there.”

He said on March 10, members of his party visited Bulawayo Central Police Station to inquire about his   arrest, but were violently attacked by the police resulting in some of them getting injured, while nine were arrested.

“I have no doubt the ruling made on the MRP nine is consistent with the statement you made while addressing your party supporters on March 23 in Chitungwiza. In your address, you openly said you were going to shorten the days of our lives if we continued on the path of seeking separation from Zimbabwe.

“Sentencing the nine has been the worst repressive measure by your government. It has come to my attention that you were angered by the removal of the Zimbabwean flag at the Zimbabwe embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, by our youth members. A day before, Sangster and court officials had hinted on a community service sentence.”

Moyo alleged that on the day of their sentencing, a call came from Harare instructing the process to be stopped.

“Welcome was severely beaten inside police premises. The elderly Nkomo (73), Levison (62) and Banda (57) could not have committed violence based on their ages, and as they are known to be non-violent.”

He accused the State of framing and fabricating cases against his members like it did in the 1980s to late Zapu leaders Dumiso Dabengwa and Lookout Masuku who were arrested without evidence.

“It is clear that Mnangagwa is still using his old 1980s tricks of fixing political opponents. We urge him to stop violating people’s rights through a tribal approach. Instruct the magistrate to reverse the ruling. Depoliticise the Judiciary and the policing services as this is a recipe for civil unrest,” read Moyo’s letter.

Moyo told Southern Eye that he was yet to get a response from Mnangagwa‘s office.

  • Follow Silas on Twitter @silasnkala

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