Harare, February 25, 2014 – Zimbabwean police on Tuesday arrested and charged four MDC-T youths with assaulting the opposition party’s deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma bringing to seven the number of suspects nabbed over the yanking of the former Energy and Power Development Minister.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the arrest of Francis Machimbidzofa, Samson Nerwande, Steven Jahwi and Enock Mukudu, who were charged with assaulting Mangoma in contravention of Section 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23).
The arrest of the four MDC-T party youths came after Mangoma reported his “assault” at Avondale Police Station last Friday and which the police responded by launching a manhunt for the suspects.
The arrest of the four party youths brings to seven the number of MDC-T officials who have been rounded up by the police over the assault of Mangoma.
On Monday, police arrested Harare central constituency legislator Murisi Zwizwai and Dennis Murira, two lieutenants loyal to Tsvangirai. Murira served as a senior aide in Tsvangirai’s office during the tenure of the coalition government where the opposition leader served as Prime Minister. On Saturday, police detectives picked up and detained MDC-T youth leader James Chidhakwa and charged him with assaulting Mangoma. The police are reportedly keen on questioning Shakespear Mukoyi, the party’s Harare province Vice Chairperson and former Mbare councilor Paul Gorekore.
Mangoma claimed that he was assaulted by supporters loyal to Tsvangirai after a party leadership meeting held at Harvest House, the MDC-T headquarters last weekend.
The deputy-treasurer-general drew the ire of the majority of the MDC-T party supporters after he called for the resignation of the former trade union leader outside the party’s formal structures. But Mangoma insists that his approach was a frank method aimed at rejuvenating the party after being defeated by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party in the July elections.
Tsvangirai has already condemned the harassment of party leaders and has publicly stated that those who “yanked” Mangoma’s shirt outside the party headquarters will “face the music”.