MDC secretary general and Finance Minister Tendai Biti told the media on Saturday, the police, who were armed with what the MDC believed was a fake search warrant, proceeded to beat up the caretaker, Moffat Sigauke, his wife and the latter’s younger sister, before they frog-marched Sigauke to some parts of the yard where they forced him to dig in search of the weapons.
Biti denied any knowledge of the stolen weapons. He suggested that the raid could be part of a plot to frame the MDC by elements within President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party who are opposed to the unity government.
“We consider this as a serious invasion of our privacy,” Biti said. “We consider this as a serious attack on our movement and our leadership particularly as they know this is the residence of our leadership that is in government
“We think this is gross provocation of our movement. But more importantly, we regard this as further evidence of the lack of a paradigm ship on the part of Zanu-PF in respecting us as an equal partner in the inclusive government.
“We regard this as the clearest evidence that a few in Zanu-PF, a few in the securocrats are determined to see us depart the scene of government.”
Biti said his party was well aware it was dealing with a “leopard which does not change its spots” and will remain on guard.
He said Zanu-PF had in the past, accused Mugabe’s opponents, Joshua Nkomo and Ndabaningi Sithole, both late, of possessing weapons to oust the veteran leader.
“We have no doubt that from now, we are going to see attempts to frame the leadership of the MDC and the MDC itself, to frame it as a treasonous party and to justify its exclusion or expulsion from the transitional government,” Biti said. “These are old and tired tactics.
“It strengthens our resolve to make sure that we achieve the people’s aspirations, which is to achieve a democratic Zimbabwe through the medium of a new people-driven constitution and of course a free and fair election.
“It also means that we must be on guard. We think that these acts of insanity are going to increase in their velocity (sic) and we think that the desperation is going to increase and we think that the firmness we have maintained the principled positions we have taken.”
The MDC last week announced its pull-out from cabinet and the council of ministers to apply pressure on Zanu-PF to abide by the terms of Global Political Agreement (GPA).
President Mugabe said Friday his party would not succumb to such pressure into surrendering its authority through a boycott by the MDC.
Biti said no amount of intimidation would force his party out of the inclusive government.
Biti said: “We will remain undeterred but we are alive to the fact that they will keep on increasing the decibels of insanity. They will continue planting arms, continue trying to kill some of us but we will look the dictatorship in the eyes. We will not blink.”