POLICE brutally crushed an MDC-T voter registration campaign in Lupane ward 9, which was being led by party vice-president, Thokozani Khupe.
By BLESSED MHLANGA
Khupe confirmed the attack, saying police officers threw a teargas canister into her car and advanced towards MDC-T supporters, who were having a private meeting at a supporter’s homestead.
“We were having a private meeting encouraging our supporters to go and register to vote. As women, we have a programme where we encourage all the mothers to take their children with them, as they go to register to vote and it was during that meeting that police attacked us unprovoked,” she said.
The former Deputy Premier, who was struggling to breathe as she spoke, said it was her first time to be smoked out by police and she needed to visit the hospital.
“This has never happened in my life, I have never been teargassed. Imagine the innocent women and children being attacked by the police, this is shocking. Our offence is that we are campaigning for our political party,” she said.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said the unwarranted crackdown justified calls for outside intervention in the 2018 general elections. He said the attack on Khupe and party supporters was evidence that Zanu PF, aided by a partisan police force, was not ready for a free and fair election.
“This is a harbinger of what awaits us. As we go towards 2018, Zanu PF will use all methods to push the country to a pre-determined electoral outcome and without Sadc, the African Union and the United Nations we are never going to have free and fair polls,” he said.
Gutu said if his party was not allowed to meet its supporters and mobilise voters, it would sadly lead to a disputed poll, which Zimbabweans should not allow.
Attempts to get a comment from the police were fruitless, with spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi referring questions to Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, who was not answering her phone.