By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
06 May 2014
Three MDC-T supporters have been arrested in connection with violent clashes that broke out between supporters of the party and those from ZANU PF.
The violence occurred soon after MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai had addressed a rally in Epworth Sunday. Tsvangirai had already left when the clashes took place.
Moses Chindanga, Kholwani Makina and Alex Makina were arrested Monday, on allegations that they were part of an MDC-T group that attacked ZANU PF supporters.
ZANU PF officials in the area and the police claim that their supporters were forced to retaliate to the indiscriminate attacks instigated by MDC-T youths.
Police told the State-owned Herald newspaper that MDC-T supporter Munyaradzi Chibanda provoked the clashes by going to Bela-Peri Farm, located in the area, dressed in his party regalia.
They say Chibanda then returned to the rally and claimed that he had been assaulted by unknown people, prompting party youths to attack “ZANU PF supporters at their homes”.
“In the process, 11 ZANU PF supporters were injured while seven houses were damaged. Police would like to warn all malcontents who are bent on instigating violence that they will face the full wrath of the law,” a senior police officer said.
The MDC-T however blames ZANU PF for the violence and what they also say was an unprovoked attack on their members which left 14 of them injured.
Two of the injured are detained at Harare’s Avenues clinic with Tambudzai Kalandi admitted at the intensive care unit with multiple injuries, while Florence Motsi sustained a head injury. They are said to be in a serious but stable condition.
MDC-T leader Tsvangirai, who visited his injured party supporters, said the ruling party is reverting to its violence-default mode in its attempt to intimidate and scuttle his party from engaging with the people.
Obert Gutu, the MDC-T spokesman for Harare province, criticised the police for their selective application of the law after it emerged that none of the ZANU PF activists fingered in the violence have been arrested.
“As is usual with the Zimbabwe police when dealing with political violence, they have been very swift to arrest our members without investigating first.
“The people who provoked the fracas on Sunday were known ZANU PF supporters and instead of the police apprehending them the police, in typical and habitual fashion, have seen it fit to lock up our members
“We are not surprised because we have always known that when ZANU PF feels the heat, they use the police as an appendage of their terror machinery,” Gutu said.
Gutu said the ruling party had run out of solutions to the country’s problems and was now trying to demonstrate its muscle by brutalising defenceless women.
It was not clear Tuesday evening whether or not the police had released the MDC-T activists.