Friday, July 10, 2009

(NEWZIMBABWE) Fourth MDC-T MP jailed

Fourth MDC-T MP jailed
by Lebo Nkatazo
10/07/2009 00:00:00

CHIPINGE South MP Meki Makuyana (MDC-T) was jailed for a year on Thursday after being convicted for his part in post-election violence last year.

Makuyana is the fourth MP from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party to be jailed this year. The party says the charges against Makuyana, along with six others, are “trumped up” and political.

Chipinge magistrate Samuel Zuze suspended six months from the 44-year-old MP’s sentence. Three other MDC activists -- Hardwork Masaiti, a councillor for ward 26 in Chipinge South, Simon Chaya and Wedzerai Gwenzi received similar sentences.

The four men have challenged both conviction and sentence, the MDC said in a statement.

The party said it was “concerned by the continued persecution and harassment of its members and MPs by the State through the Attorney-General’s office in an attempt to decimate its structures and reverse the party’s majority in parliament”.

Mutare West MP Shuah Mudiwa was recently jailed for an effective four years in jail for kidnapping a 12-year-old girl. Three years of the sentence were suspended. Mathias Mlambo (Chipinge East) got 10 months for committing public violence, and Lynette Karenyi of Chimanimani West was found guilty of electoral fraud.

Karenyi, Mudiwa and Mlambo have appealed their convictions.
In elections last year, Tsvangirai’s MDC overturned Zanu PF’s majority in parliament for the first time since independence from white colonial rule in 1980. But the party says its parliamentary numbers are diminishing following the string of convictions.

The party won 100 seats to Zanu PF’s 99. The other MDC formation led by Arthur Mutambara won 10 seats, and the 210th seat in the House of Assembly is occupied by Jonathan Moyo, an independent.

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