Jailed MDC MP Mathias Mlambo released
By Violet Gonda
22 May 2009
The MDC MP for Chipinge East, Mathias Mlambo, was released on bail of US$200 on Friday by Chipinge magistrate Samuel Zuze. This was after defence lawyers, led by Trust Maanda and Langton Mhungu, successfully applied for bail, pending an appeal in the High Court. The MP, who was arrested on 11th May, was sentenced to 10 months in jail for allegedly defeating and obstructing a police officer during the discharge of his duties and inciting violence at a funeral of an MDC supporter in Chipinge. MDC MP and spokesperson for Manicaland province, Pishai Muchauraya said Mlambo denies these charges, adding that it’s ‘mere political harassment by some authorities within ZANU PF.
The release on bail of the Chipinge East MDC MP comes after the MDC announced that it is calling on the regional bodies to come in and help unlock the stalemate on the outstanding issues in the unity government. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said there is a deadlock on the appointments of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana and he said he remains ‘concerned about the continued violations of the rule of law.’ Journalists, lawyers and MDC legislators continue to be arrested and illegal land invasions and violence on the farms is continuing.
On Sunday Minister of Finance Tendai Biti also told supporters at an MDC rally in Masvingo on Sunday: “We are unhappy with the selective application of justice and Zanu PF is showing its insincerity to the implementation of the agreement.” He said this was shown by the recent jailing of MP Mlambo.
Meanwhile judgment on the case of another MDC MP in Chipinge is expected to be handed down on 27th May. Pishai Muchauraya said Chipinge South MP, Meki Makuyana, is being accused of engaging in public violence and abducting ZANU PF supporters – again charges that are completely denied. Muchauraya said like the Mlambo case, it is once again driven by political victimisation.