Mwonzora Arrested, Released Without Charge

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora was on Tuesday arrested for allegedly assaulting a party youth member for aligning himself to expelled secretary-general Tendai Biti’s faction which is calling for leadership renewal.

Mwonzora, who was later released without being charged after spending seven hours in the hands of the police, said on the day in question, he was in Masvingo for a rally.

He, however, accused the youth member, Leonard Dendera, of trying to burn down Harvest House, the party’s headquarters.

“I was released without charge. I was supposed to have attacked someone, but I was in Masvingo for a rally on Saturday and these were false allegations to weaken the MDC-T led by [Morgan] Tsvangirai,” Mwonzora said.

The allegations were that on Saturday evening, Mwonzora assaulted Dendera, a known MDC-T activist, for aligning himself to Biti’s faction of the MDC-T.

The former Premier was part of a group of party leaders “suspended” by other members at Mandel Training Centre on Saturday.

Dendera made a report at the First Street police post, implicating Mwonzora as the one who had attacked him.

“I was at Chelsea Bar [in Harare] when I got a call from Solo [Solomon Madzore] to meet him at the Holiday Inn. On my way there, I met Mwonzora who assaulted me. They threw me into a truck, but I managed to escape,” he told officers at the Law and Order section in the presence of NewsDay journalists.

Mwonzora accused Dendera of trying to burn down Harvest House on Friday evening before he was subdued by security personnel. 

Mwonzora added that by making a report of assault, Dendera was trying to cover up his botched mission.

“The suspect was caught red-handed trying to burn down Harvest House,” Mwonzora said. 

“He was armed with petrol, fertiliser, a match-box and a hacksaw trying to gain entry into Harvest House before he was subdued and dispossessed.”

Meanwhile, MDC-T Manicaland provincial secretary Misheck Kagurabadza was on Monday evening arrested by police in Mutare for allegedly breaking into the party provincial offices.

Kagurabadza is a former Mutasa South MP, as well as former Mutare mayor.

His arrest comes at a time when the MDC-T is on the brink of a split, with rival groups claiming to be in charge of the party.

Police provincial spokesperson Enock Chishiri said he could not comment as he was out of office.

But party provincial treasurer Brian James confirmed to have phoned police to cause the arrest of Kagurabadza.

He said the manner in which Kagurabadza tried to gain access into party properties was not proper and, therefore, as the treasurer, he had called police to stop him.

“It was just a simple case of breaking in. The security details at the office phoned me telling me about the breaking-in and I immediately phoned police,” James said.

Kagurabadza was yesterday still detained at Mutare Central Police Station and is expected to appear in court today.