Wednesday, 16 October 2019

MDC TAKES COPS TO COURT


The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has approached the High Court with an urgent application seeking an order to interdict Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Officer Commanding Police Harare Central District from threatening the party’s employees and interfering with the opposition party’s business at Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House in Harare.

This came after police on Monday shut down the party’s headquarters in the wake of the discovery of 210 riot police and 41 municipal police helmets in a basement of a city building.
However, the opposition party accused police of deliberately planting the riot police gear to justify a crackdown on government critics.

Early Monday morning, armed police cordoned off the building and Robinson House, where the helmets were allegedly recovered on Saturday afternoon, forcing the MDC workers and several tenants to abandon their offices.

The police linked the helmets to possible criminal activities.

But it later turned out that the helmets had been sold by the police through ABC Auctions to businessman Mitchel Chibwe, who was questioned in the company of his lawyer Kudzai Rangarirai.

NewsDay understands police also demanded that Chibwe produce the receipts of the helmets which were never reported stolen or missing from police vaults.


MDC secretary-general Chalton Hwende deposed to an affidavit which forms part of the application urging the court to intervene and protect the interest of the opposition party together with its employees and tenants by granting an interdict against the country’s law enforcement agents.

“This is an urgent chambers application for an interdict, stopping respondents (Mathema, Matanga and the Officer Commanding) and anyone acting through them, directly or indirectly from barricading applicant’s (MDC) premises at number 44 Nelson Mandela Avenue, interrogating and intimidating applicant’s employees, visitors and tenants as well as interfering with applicant’s business at the premises,” Hwende said.

He said the presence of the police and their actions had adversely impacted on the day-to-day running of the party’s business as well as a private business, being a hair salon which is housed at the same building. Newsday

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