Sunday, March 17, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Senior Tsvangirai officials arrested: MDC-T

COMMENT - Arrested in connection with a firebomb attack in Headlands? This could become interesting.

Senior Tsvangirai officials arrested: MDC-T
17/03/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE MDC-T said Sunday three senior officials from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had been arrested as police confirmed picking up another party official in Headlands.

In a statement Sunday, the party said: “A total of 15 police officers in plain clothes have raided and are currently searching Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s communications office in Avondale, Harare.

“Early this morning, the police arrested three officials from the PM’s office, Thabani Mpofu, Anna Muzvidziwa and Felix Matsinde. Reasons for the arrests and the whereabouts of three are unknown.”

On Saturday, the MDC-T said gunmen also abducted Samson Magumura, the party’s secretary for Headlands, as the country voted on a new constitution amid seething political tensions.

However police later said the gunmen were plainclothes detectives.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told AFP that Magumura had been arrested on charges of attempted murder in connection with a firebomb attack.

He was seized at his home in Headlands before dawn, according to party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.

"Our district secretary for Headlands was kidnapped this morning. He was taken from his home by armed people," Mwonzora told AFP. Magumura's whereabouts remain unknown.

The MDC suggested his assailants, four armed men driving a white four wheel drive, where linked to President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party.

The incident came as polls opened in a key referendum on a new constitution that would curb Mugabe's powers and pave the way for fresh elections.

A "yes" vote is widely expected but political tensions seethed beneath the surface.
The new constitution would for the first time put a definite, if distant, end date on Mugabe's 33-year rule.

A general election slated for later this year is likely to end that often acrimonious power-sharing arrangement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Rights groups fear the government harassment seen ahead of the referendum vote could be a prelude to a more serious crackdown on opponents in the run-up to the general election.

Observers also fear there will not be enough time to apply all the necessary reforms to ensure a healthier political environment before the next elections.

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