By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
12 June 2014
At a time when the ZANU PF government is trying to give the impression of calm and tranquility in the country, Transform Zimbabwe has reported that CIO agents Wednesday abducted its leader from his hotel room and detained him at the Chimanimani police station.
Ngarivhume and his Transform Zimbabwe crew were in the area to drum up support for the party and were about to hit the campaign trail when he was abducted. A statement from the party said ahead of the incident party members travelling with Ngarivhume were also harassed by a ZANU PF militia led by Chimanimani district chairperson Bhuku Antony Machingauta, who declared that the area was out of bounds to opposition parties.
Ngarivhume’s aides said the CIO arrived on the coat tails of the ZANU PF militia in two vehicles, around 8 am, and headed straight to the party leader’s room where they abducted him before driving to the police station where he was detained for four hours.
Party spokesman Sungai Mazando said his leader was released without charge but was subjected to a ‘thorough interrogation.’ He said: ‘The CIO wanted to know about the source of the funding for the party and why we were in the Manicaland area among other things.’
Mazando told SW Radio Africa that they have since received reports that more of their members were on Thursday morning harassed by state security agents in the Binga area of Matabeleland North province. He said party members have previously faced similar problems in areas like Tsholotsho and Masvingo. He attributed the increase in the harassments to the party’s growing popularity.
Transform Zimbabwe was formed in December 2013 following a convention of the 12,000 member Christian network group, Prayer Network Zimbabwe. At the time Ngarivhume said the party would rally all Zimbabweans towards the country’s transformation in the area of politics. He said the party would ‘focus on re-engagement with Western countries, building an inclusive and competitive economy empowering Zimbabweans through access to education and health facilities.’