THE Government has dismissed as false and mischievous, allegations of attempted abduction of MDC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa on his way from addressing a rally in Marondera on Saturday.
A video has been circulating on social media capturing skirmishes between Mr Chamisa’s security team and occupants of a Toyota Harrier which his party claims were State security agents trying to abduct their leader.
In a statement yesterday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, said reports filed with police indicate that the incident could be a case of road rage as Mr Chamisa’s security details were involved in an altercation with private citizens.
“Reports filed with the police indicate that some people were coming from Marondera, driving behind what they later learnt to be Mr Chamisa’s convoy. Suddenly the convoy stopped and blocked them from overtaking, they were aggressively confronted and manhandled by Mr Chamisa’s entourage including Mr Chamisa who lobbed himself in the back seat of their vehicle punching and scratching,” she said.
“The victims (just ordinary citizens going about their own business until the attack) have reported the matter to the police who are carrying out further investigations, this would appear to be a road rage incident.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said neither the Intelligence services nor any security services or any arm of Government owns the Toyota Harrier in the captured video.
She said a quick check at the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) would show the media or any interested parties the true owners of the vehicle reiterating that the police are seized with the matter.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, the CIO was not involved in this reported incident which is now under investigation. Let us all give the police the support, co-operation and space they need to execute their constitutional mandate,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said the President’s Department is awake to the call by the New Dispensation to operate within the confines of the Constitution particularly Section 224(2).
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Department is also “alert to the vision held by his Excellency the President of Zimbabwe to establish the institution of Opposition by having an Official Leader of the Opposition in Parliament whose office is funded by the State”.
“The Department subjects itself to the authority of the Constitution, the President and the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe and would not act contrary to that ethos,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Government acknowledges and supports the legal existence of opposition parties.
“The Government has been made aware of the video that has been circulating on social media purporting to depict an attempted abduction of opposition leader Mr Nelson Chamisa. Government would like to assure the public, all opposition parties and their leadership that it acknowledges and supports the legal existence of the opposition Parties as enshrined in our Constitution,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa however, said it was improper to abuse the support.
“Government is dismayed at the imputation that State agents would attempt to abduct opposition leaders. That notion is not only false but also mischievous moreso taken in light of the efforts by Government to harmonise and practice with the Constitution.”
In the run up to the July 30 elections, Mr Chamisa watched disinterestedly as his personal henchmen assaulted and then sprayed an as yet unidentified chemical into the eyes of one of the opposition coalition’s National Assembly candidates for Gutu Central constituency.
Mr Crispa Musoni (MDC-T), one of two candidates the Alliance fielded in the constituency race, had tried to seek audience with Mr Chamisa in a bid to get clarity as to why the opposition leader had allowed two people from the same camp to contest the seat.
But instead of addressing the issue, Mr Chamisa allowed his goons to attack the 76-year-old man and spray a chemical in his eyes.