A SENATOR and two MDC MPs from Plumtree have allegedly been told by police detectives to desist from criticising Zanu PF in the area during their campaign rallies, party spokesperson, Nhlanhla Dube claimed.
Moses Mzila-Ndlovu (Bulilima West MP), Edward Mkhosi (Mangwe MP) and Lutho Tapela (Bulilima-Mangwe Senator) were allegedly told of the directive at Plumtree Police Station on Friday, where they had been summoned to answer charges of making critical remarks against Zanu PF.
Dube said the three legislators were subjected to a three-hour interrogation by members of the Law and Order Section of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), who accused the three of spreading malicious information against Zanu PF.
“We are also alarmed to hear that the detectives went on to tell the party officials that they should desist from criticising Zanu PF in their campaign rallies,” he said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Norman Mpofu, a former MDC legislator, is on trial for allegedly uttering insulting remarks against Zanu PF.
The MDC spokesperson said criticising Zanu PF is not a criminal offence, adding that this is because the latter is to blame for the country’s woes.
“Who else, besides Zanu PF, is responsible for the 33 years of ruin and backward development this country has been through and how else should MDC politicians campaign if they do not expose the reasons why people should never again vote for Zanu PF?” Dube quipped.
He indicated that the interrogation of the party legislators amounted to intimidation ahead of the upcoming elections and accused police of being partisan towards the former liberation war movement.
“These deliberate efforts of intimidating and falsely criminalising our party officials by a police force which continues to display all the signs of loyalty to one party — Zanu PF — is worrisome
at this point in time,” Dube continued.
Police last Thursday attempted to block an MDC district assembly meeting in Tsholotsho addressed by party leader Welshman Ncube, on charges that the gathering was illegal.
Matabeleland South police referred Southern Eye to Harare for police comment.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba professed ignorance about the issue.
“I don’t know about that,” she said.