Chihuri blames MDC for violence

HARARE – Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has accused the main faction of the MDC of inciting violence that has left thousands of its supporters displaced.\r\n

Chihuri said this when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee of Defence and Home Affairs in Harare on Thursday.

"We have re-ordered 121 cases of political violence since January and all are related to the MDC legislators. I wonder why you decide to call me to appear before your committee since you are the politicians who are causing all the violence that is happening in the country,” said Chihuri.

“The MDC is a political party which survives on political violence and this why they are being arrested. If the country is peaceful it does no good to the MDC. But as police, we are ready to deal with them,’’ said Chihuri a former Zanla combatant.

Chihuri mentioned Thokozhani Khupe, Theresa Makone, Paul Madzore, Douglas Mwonzora, Tongai Mathuthu and Rogers Tazviona as the MDC  MP’s  who were heavily involved in violent acts.

He said MDC supporters were reporting cases of violence against them in a bid to cover up their acts which they “would have instigated” in their respective constituencies.

Mwonzora and Tazviona are in remand prisons in Mutare and and Kwekwe, respectively.

The hearing was emotionally-charged with the chairman of the committee Paul Madzore repeatedly clashing with Chihuri.

"Commissioner Chihuri let us not personalise issues we want you to give the details to us on what has happened in Harare and not for you to be pointing fingers at us – the MDC’s MP who are victims of the political violence,’’ said Madzore.

Asked by Madzore to give account of the violence that happened in  the June 2008 Presidential runoff elections, the police boss ducked the question.

Chihuri refused to talk about the actions the police took to arrest the perpetrators of political violence in that period.

He also professed ignorance about torture camps that are being set up by Zanu PF supporters in the rural areas.

"I have come to talk about political violence that is happening in the country and the issue you now want to talk about is being handled by the ministry of National Healing and Integration,” said Chihuri.

“I also do not know about the torture camps you are referring to. I do not discuss anything that I do not know,’’ Chihuri told the committee.

In recent weeks, MDC supporters have fled their homes following attacks by suspected Zanu PF supporters.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has blamed President Robert Mugabe for the violence which has left many of his supporting homeless.

The MDC headquarters – Harvest House – is currently overwhelmed by displaced party supporters who fled the violence mainly in Mbare. – Daily News