THE MDC-T has slammed Thursday’s arrest of Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and his town clerk Daniel Matawu for abusing council funds to host party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, among the alleged offences.
The embattled pair is also accused of theft and fraud, allegations which are said to be involving a total of $185 000.
Their arrest, according to police, followed an audit carried out recently into the affairs of the Midlands capital which unearthed the abuse of funds, something that has affected the city’s capacity to deliver good service to rate payers and also paying council employees.
Party spokesperson Obert Gutu said the arrests were part of Zanu PF’s old tactics of harassing elected opposition officials occupying influential local government positions in the country.
“The MDC condemns in the strongest terms the arrest of Councillor Hamutendi Kombai, the Mayor of the City of Gweru,” said party spokesperson Obert Gutu is a statement Friday.
“The arrest which comes barely a week after the High court ruling to reinstate him and the entire council back to their offices is clearly deplorable and downright irrational.
“This action typifies the perennial harassment of MDC elected officials by the faction-ridden of Zanu PF regime. “
The MDC-T said the “wanton and blatant disregard of the rule of law to reinstate Mayor Kombayi as determined by the High court is not only a sad indictment on the justice delivery system in Zimbabwe but it is also tantamount to a total disregard of the Constitution”.
“It is clear that this is yet another attempt by the faction-ridden Zanu PF regime to divert attention from the pressing issues bedeviling this country,” Gutu said.
The MDC-T official said the high handed approach to state affairs by President Mugabe using his public officials such as Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was part of President Robert Mugabe’s continued attempts to prolong his rule up to death.
He vowed this would not succeed.
“That this arrest also comes after Mugabe’s botched jaunt to India raises more eyebrows and betrays the Zanu PF regime’s tired and archaic tactics of hoodwinking the generality of Zimbabweans from the bread and butter issues that the crumbling regime has clearly failed to deliver to the people,” Gutu said.
“Any such attempts by the crumbling Zanu PF regime to prop up its waning fortunes will not only fail dismally but shall be resisted fiercely by the people of Zimbabwe.
“The yesteryear party’s stubborn reality of being fronted by a totally incapacitated 92 year old President will not be wished away by creating fictitious court cases against innocent citizens.
“Mugabe’s dream to remain in power for life is certainly turning into a terrible nightmare as he finds himself trapped between the frustration of failing to bring order into his chaotic party and the reality of a crushing defeat in 2018.
“It does not need a rocket scientist to notice how lately Mugabe has come across as an incoherent, disoriented, rambling and tired old man who wants to remain President for life without any compelling national reason.”