POLICE in Harare have launched a manhunt for nine MDC Alliance leaders believed to have gone into hiding after the State threatened to charge them for allegedly plotting to destabilise the country.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Yesterday, police obtained a search warrant to ransack civil society leader Isaac Maposa’s house, where MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti is believed to be hiding.

Besides the violence charge, police also want to charge Biti for contravening provisions of the Electoral Act after he declared MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa winner of the July 30 poll.

“On August 2, 2018, I received information from a reliable source to the effect that Laxton Tendai Biti on July 31, 2013, at an unknown place and in Harare, held a Press conference where he unlawfully and unofficially declared Nelson Chamisa of MDC Alliance as the duly elected presidential candidate for the Zimbabwe harmonised elections. He contravened Section 66A (1)(b) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13 ‘Unofficial or false declaration of results prohibited’,” part of a police affidavit dated August 5 and signed by Detective Inspector Arimon Mirimbo, read.

“Further information received indicates that Laxton Tendai Biti on August 1, 2018 and at the Zanu PF Harare provincial headquarters committed the offence of public violence as defined in Section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 whereby, while he was acting in consent with his accomplices still at large while armed with firearms, ammunition, stones alleged to having committed acts of violence and proceeded to burn various vehicles and one bus at the Zanu PF Harare provincial headquarters,” the detective added.

According to the affidavit, Biti is said to have “fled the scenes of crime and police failed to arrest him”.

“The accused person is still at large and is believed to be hiding at house number 19 Wavel Road, Rhodesville, Harare where he is being harboured by (one) Isaac Maphosa. Further to that, the accused, who is still at large, is believed to be armed with dangerous weapons and having gadgets with evidence to support commission of the offences.

“The accused person intends to continue using the aforementioned items to destabilise peace and tranquillity in Zimbabwe. Hence police require carrying out searches at the said address, recovering exhibits and arresting the accused.”