Tuesday, March 05, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) MDC-T slams Headlands fire ‘cover-up’

MDC-T slams Headlands fire ‘cover-up’
04/03/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T has accused police of a cover-up after they ruled the death in a house fire of a 12-year-old son of a district official an accident.

The party hit out at the police findings into the fire and vowed to carry out a “national and international” campaign to ensure that those responsible for the attack are arrested.

Police said Monday that an official investigation into the fire had revealed that the inferno was likely sparked by a paraffin lamp positioned next to four bags of fertiliser which contain the combustive ammonium nitrate.

“There is high probability that ammonium nitrate and tobacco chemicals exploded during the fire. No foul play is suspected. Forensic experts did their analysis combined with police investigations and no foul play is suspected,” national police spokesperson Charity Charamba said.
But MDC-T dismissed the police investigation as a cover-up.

Said party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora: “There is evidence that there were murderers; there were intruders at this house on that day. They were repelled by dogs first time but later came back and succeeded in lighting the house.

“The people responsible are known; they are mentioned by name by eye witnesses and by the Maisiri family and they have not been arrested. This is not the first time the Maisiri family has been attacked by Zanu PF and this is not the first time that fire has been used against them.

“This boy had scars from wounds he sustained when the house he was in was torched again (previously) and he had a broken leg which he sustained when some well-known Zanu PF people were raping his mother.

"So there is a history of attacks on the Maisiri family. We are going to make sure that this murder does not go unpunished; that the murderers are brought to book and we are going to go both nationally and internationally to bring the murderers to book.
“If the government of Zimbabwe was transparent they should have allowed international investigators into this matter.”

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, his deputy Thokozani Khupe and other senior officials attended the burial of young Christpower Maisiri after deciding that he was the victim of a politically-motivated attack.

Zanu PF has denied any involvement in the fire and accused the MDC-T of trying to use tragedy to bring international spotlight on the country ahead of elections expected later this year.

State media reports also accused Christpower’s dad, Shepherd, said to be keen to represent the MDC-T in parliamentary elections, of turning the incident into a political campaign.

"He is now using the death of his son, which is not even politically motivated, to get political mileage. Recently he was boasting that some of the donors who are sympathising with his family were going to build a bigger house for him," the Herald newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying.

Meanwhile, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai expressed concern over what he described as “trivialisation” of the incident by Zanu PF and the police.

Tsvangirai’s secretary for transitional affairs, Alex Magaisa, said the MDC-T leader had also raised concerns over the differential treatment by the police in arresting political activists.

“They are not decent to use such language. The issue of violence should be looked into. The manner in which the death of Christpowers has been handled by both the police and state media raises a lot of questions,” said Magaisa.

He said the MDC was concerned by swiftness shown by the police in arresting MDC-T members citing the example of the 31 MDC members who were arrested in 2011 on false charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare.

“In the meantime Zanu PF supporters who have carried out acts of violence are roaming free. Tsvangirai is expected to hold a meeting with Mugabe over the death of Christpowers,” Magaisa added.

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