Sunday, 17 May 2020

MDC ACTIVISTS WERE NEVER ARRESTED : MATANGA


A full-scale investigation is now in progress over the alleged abduction of three MDC Alliance members and the public should await the results, which will be made public, before coming up with unsubstantiated conclusions, the Government said yesterday.

Three MDC Alliance members — Johanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Christine Marova — were reported missing last week before being located at a general dealer’s shop near Musana on Friday.

During a joint press conference yesterday, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe yesterday confirmed he had directed police to institute a full-scale investigation on what transpired after the flash demonstration by the MDC Alliance in Warren Park in western Harare last week.

The investigations would establish what transpired, who did what, and the motive behind the actions.

“While circumstances pertaining to the whole case are not clear, my Ministry has directed the Commissioner General of Police to institute full-scale investigations into the matter. I want to assure Zimbabweans that no stone will be left unturned with a view of finding out exactly what happened after the flash demonstration in Warren Park by MDC Alliance.

“This inquiry will also include the way the story was covered in the media in order to iron out a lot of grey areas for the benefit of the public, and in the process reveal the correct circumstances in the whole matter,” he said.

Minister Kazembe said social media was awash with messages that police had arrested the three, prompting him to ask Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga if this was so. He denied the allegations.
  
“This basically means that it must have been a communication breakdown,” said the Minister.

Minister Kazembe said the demonstration, which was staged by the MDC Alliance members, was illegal as they had not followed the proper procedures and had also violated the lockdown regulations.

“The flash demonstration was illegal. There are certain procedures that should be followed such as informing the police before staging the demonstration,” said the Minister. “Secondly, it violated the lockdown regulations. There was no social distancing and that will be dealt with at an appropriate time. But for now we are dealing with the alleged abduction.”

The investigations would find out what happened, how the three reached Musana and all the other queries.

“We can assure Zimbabwe that the police will do their utmost to get to the bottom of the story,” said Minister Kazembe.

Police, at the joint press conference, said investigations were still underway, but so far they had not recovered the vehicle belonging to Ms Mamombe.



Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he had not confirmed the arrests, but had just told the media that his department would find out from Harare province what had happened. “In our interaction with Harare province we were told something had happened in Warren Park and was being attended (to). It was premature for the police to confirm who had been arrested and who had not been arrested because the scene was still being attended.”

Comm-General Matanga told the same press conference that the police had put together investigation teams deployed by the head of Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

“It is my conviction that they are carrying out their investigations very well. I want to assure that the results of the investigations will be communicated to all Zimbabweans.

“The information I have right now is, the illegal demonstration took place on Wednesday May 13, 2020 around 1230. When the information was passed to Harare police station, police were deployed to Warren Park 1.

“When police arrived the crowd scattered and could not be arrested. Fortunately, we have a video clip from the demonstration and we are now following up on those people appearing on the clip.

“According to the lockdown regulations, the offences are clearly spelt out. Again, depending on who played what role in the demonstration, that will come out as a result of the investigations we are talking about. It is too early for me to give answers before the conclusion of the investigations,” he said. Herald

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