Tuesday, 22 January 2019


 Five MDC MPs are being detained and denied the chance to apply for bail while a sixth MP was arrested, detained and then released without charge after hours of unjustified persecution. 

Several others have had their homes invaded, their houses ransacked and their families petrified with Hon Godfrey Sithole’s brother, Kudakwashe being abducted, again in acts that cannot be justified at law. The MPs have an obligation to represent the citizens, which responsibility will not be carried out if the MPs' freedom is restricted.

 The government has suspended constitutional rights in fast tracking trials of our MP’s, many political activists and citizens who were arrested indiscriminately. The facts are that Zimbabweans protested reckless fuel price hikes by the government announced by Emerson Mnangagwa, who left fresh flames before leaving to the airport for a luxurious Swiss Jet joy ride. 

The government has responded to the highly successful shutdown with widespread violence and brutality against its citizens and has denied detainees’ due process. This violence was multi faceted. It included the armed forces, the police and shockingly the state outsourced torture on citizens through vigilante Zanu PF groups led by rogue Zanu PF thugs like Godfrey Gomwe. 

These are responsible for several atrocities recorded by the police which the government is concealing. Infact, they are responsible for the deaths of two people and the police arrested Gomwe only to be ordered to release him from the highest Zanu PF office.

 While it was not the first crackdown on dissent under a Zanu PF led administration, the scope and severity of the repression currently underway has reached alarming levels. The MDC Alliance parliamentary caucus would humbly express its heartfelt condolences to the relatives, friends , activists and all Zimbabwean nationals who lost their loved ones. 

We are really sorry and we cry with you as a nation during these trying times of bereavement. We wish those who were assaulted and those nursing gunshot wounds, a speedy recovery. The crackdown has extended beyond the protests, with government intelligence agents, police and the military pulling MDC officials and political activists from their homes and detaining them on frivolous charges and without due process. 

The abuse of the judicial system by the Government continues to take place with impunity in violation of article 10 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and section 50 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Arrested MDC officials and political activists have their cases being fast-tracked in the court system at the expense of constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to a fair trial. MDC officials and political activists are being subjected to assault and torture following arrests and have bail applications denied without justification which are all fundamental breaches of sections 50 (1) and 53 of the constitution. 

Regardless of the evidence presented before the courts some accused persons were shockingly convicted and sentences of up to five years in prison imposed. There is now a clear agenda to maliciously and deliberately misuse criminal court processes in a manner that is not justified by the underlying legal action. 

The principles of separation of powers have been abdicated by judicial officers as their actions are fueling and sanitizing the politically motivated persecution of political activists and MDC officials at the behest of shadowy figures. 

In the quest for executive overreach, the targeting of MDC MPs is an attempt to deal a fatal blow to the legislature the same way the judiciary is being captured. With Zanu PF elite rapture at play, the MDC caucus is also being targeted to avoid it's participation in a rumoured impeachment plan. 

We have nothing to do with Zanu PF internal politics, we elected to represent the people of Zimbabwe not to fight factional battles of people presiding over a rogue state. Not to mention that there is no better side of Zanu PF, we however, want to make the point that playing a representational role, participating in an impeachment process is not beyond the rights of legislatures and no one must be persecuted for that. 

There is however no need for impeachment. The executive has failed in absolute terms and violated the obligation to obey and uphold the Constitution. It follows that Mnangagwa and his cabinet must resign. 

Finally as representatives of the people of Zimbabwe we are concerned by the security of the citizens. 

It was clear from the joint press conference of the police and the army that;- 
1.They acknowledged the attrocities committed by the uniformed forces which they in turn want to convince us that it's just rogue elements. 

2. They acknowledged that they are incapable of securing the people by failure to secure their own uniforms and arms.

 3. The police are incapacitated because they cannot even protect themselves from Zanu PF youths

 4.More worryingly they make no mention of a single running investigation regards people who are masquerading as soldiers or police. Neither do they state a single arrest in this regard. We therefore demand the following. 

1That all the MPs be released, arrests cannot follow a pattern of which party caucus you belong to. 

2. That the real criminals who killed, tortured and raped our people be brought to Justice. 

3.That the independence of the Judiciary be guaranteed and that due process be ensured to every accused person.

 4.That the focus be that of alignment of the laws to the Constitution specifically the ones that protect our people, laws that are used to switch off the internet for example, must go. 

5.More importantly the attitudes of political actors must be aligned to the Constitution. We see no reason why the independent complains mechanism in section 210 has not been established.

 As a caucus we have already written to the speaker of Parliament regarding these issues, and we will write to the regional parliamentary bodies. We will hold everyone accountable by the powers vested in parliament by the Constitution. As a caucus of the MDC Alliance through the leadership of our President Advocate Nelson Chamisa we will always stand for and by what is best for the people of Zimbabwe at all times. Thank you very much God bless Zimbabwe.

 Hon Prosper Chapfiwa Mutseyami MDC Parliamentary Chief Whip


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