MDC Legislator Located, Expected In Court

Nyanga, – The missing Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) and Movement for Democratic Change legislator Douglas Mwonzora arrested on charges of violence, was finally located at a police station in Nyamaropa here and is expected in court on Friday amid reports that the army and state secret agents are manning the police station.\r\n

Notorious police officer Henry Sostein Dowa is among police detectives handling the interrogation of the legislator arrested this week.

Mwonzora’s lawyers Tawanda Zhuwarara and Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers of Human Rights (ZLHR) finally located the legislator on Thursday afternoon after he was secretly transferred from Nyanga Police Station. The lawyers had been apprehensive after failing to locate the COPAC boss when they attended at Nyanga Police Station on Thursday morning where he was detained prompting them to mount a search for Mwonzora in nearby police stations.

ZLHR’s lawyers were denied access to consult with their client and take instructions by the Officer in Charge at Nyamaropa Police Station only identified as Assistant Inspector Maenga and a Sergeant Major Chamusingarewi. The lawyers only saw Mwonzora from a distance as he sat eating some food in a fence surrounding police cells at Nyamaropa Police Station.

Assistant Inspector Maenga told the lawyers that they would only have access to Mwonzora after he gets permission from detectives from the CID Law and Order Section at Mutare Police Station, who were reportedly hitch-hiking from Mutare to Nyanga.

The lawyers were later summoned for a meeting with the chief of intelligence for the province which was also attended by Detective Assistant Inspector Henry Dowa of the Harare CID Law and Order Section, Superintendent Ncube, Detective Inspector Kutiwa and one Chipangura.

The provincial intelligence chief expressed his displeasure at the media coverage of the case during the meeting with the lawyers.

The lawyers were advised that the docket was being sent to Harare on Thursday evening to Florence Ziyambi, the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Attorney General’s Office for her approval so that Mwonzora can be taken to court on Friday.

The lawyers were also advised that a “special prosecutor” would handle Mwonzora’s prosecution.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party on Thursday said senior army officials and security intelligence officers were now in charge of the detention of the 25 of their activists including Mwonzora.

The MDC said Mwonzora and the other 24 activists failed to attend court Thursday for unknown reasons. The 25 were being held on violence charges which the MDC say the charges are trumped up. Among the detained were an 84 year old headmanNyakauru and 75 year – old grandmother, Evangelist Machirita.

"State security agents who have taken over operations at the police station have been identified as; Inspector Chipangura from Mutare’s Law and Order Section, Colonel Lancelot Sanyatwa who said he was from the President’s Office and Sergeant Major Chemusingareve. The three are leading other State security agents in interrogating the MDC members," the party said.

Tsvangirai on Tuesday addressing a public forum on the state of the inclusive government in Harare accused the army and state security institutions of leading the perpetration of violence across country. The premier said the deployment of the army ‘recreates’ the terror of 2008.

"We have seen in the past few months the deployment of soldiers and armed vigilantes in the countryside to recreate the terror of June 2008. We have heard treasonous talk from senior officials in the police and in the army, all speaking against the freedom of every Zimbabwean to elect new leaders of their choice in an atmosphere of peace and security," Tsvangirai said.

"The police, the army and the central intelligence organization are all national security institutions created to protect the people of Zimbabwe and not to harm them. Over the past two years, these institutions have shown no evidence of reforming; they have failed to adjust to the realities of an inclusive society by refusing to let go of their partisan attitude, which has eroded national confidence at a time when the people want assurance of their security well ahead of the next election."