By Jacob Mafume (MDC National Spokesperson)
There is a continuous threat to President Nelson Chamisa’s life and we note with concern a perpetual invasion of his privacy. While we understand that he is a public official, we are extremely worried that the State has put up apartheid-style surveillance which is in violation of the Constitution in reference to the President’s privacy. The concerns about President Chamisa’s security extend not only to him but to his family and other senior leaders in the party.
It is sinister in that the surveillance is being done in a manner that endangers the life of the President. They follow his motorcade at extraordinarily high speeds, they interfere with the vehicles in his motorcade and at times they almost run him off the road in blatant violation of road rules. We are certain the intention is to cause an accident and then blame his drivers of negligence.
What is worrying about the Saturday scuffle is that they physically interfered with the motorcade and attempted to grab and abduct the President. They followed his motorcade from Marondera and when the security realised that they were being followed, as per their protocol, they deliberately drove into Ruwa to stave off the followers who doggedly kept on their tail. The President’s motorcade then returned to the highway, turned into Mabvuku and drove to the police station where a report was made.
The security noticed that the pursuers had sophisticated high-tech communication gadgets, were armed and the vehicle co-ordinating them had blue lights. Their demeanour was that of calm and trained individuals. In any case, when they were approached, they identified themselves as government officials.
This is not the first time that President Chamisa has been pursued by armed gunmen. On 8 September 2018, while coming from a rally in Chitungwiza, his motorcade was pursued up to Enterprise road where his security personnel blocked the vehicle and the occupants of that vehicle produced firearms before driving off.
There was another incident on 01 November 2018 where he had gone to Domboshava for prayer and he was followed and ended up having to cut short his prayers. The dire security situation in Zimbabwe is such that it is not only president Chamisa whose life is in danger but his family and the top leadership of the MDC. Vice President Senator Morgen Komichi, Deputy National Chairperson Hon. Tendai Biti and Youth Assembly Chairperson Hon. Happymore Chidziva have all had their lives threatened in one form or the other.
On 1 August 2018, when innocent civilians were brutally killed by soldiers in the streets of Harare, we all realised that even innocent ordinary Zimbabweans are not safe under this so-called new dispensation.
Interestingly, the victims ended up being blamed for having died. In the current case, there is a laughable and almost comical attempt to blame President Chamisa for having been followed and being nearly abducted.
They now want to charge the victim.
The statement by Monica Mutsvangwa is not only misleading but malicious and a direct attempt to influence police investigation towards a particular direction of charging the victim and not the perpetrators.
We pay tribute to citizen journalism for recording these incidences. Though done by amateurs, the videos at least give an indication of what happened.
Remember this is the same government that blamed Itai Dzamara for disappearing himself! Thankfully, we have also recorded the vehicle registration numbers which we have furnished to the police. It turns out that the pursuers are cloning vehicle registration numbers and sometimes they use fake registration numbers.
These threats on our President and the party are violations of the sacred rights enshrined in our Constitution. Sections 52, 57, 58, 59 and 67 are our democratic rights for which we appear to be vilified. Section 219 states clearly that the police must be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic and professional. A government minister cannot speak about on-going investigations without compromising them, in the manner that Monica Mutsvangwa has just done.
Regarding Saturday’s incident, one member of President Chamisa’s security was injured as he jumped out of the car that had abducted him.
President Chamisa remains strong, resolute, undeterred and very much willing to prosecute the people’s struggle to its logical conclusion. President Chamisa says “you are coming against me with sword, spear and javelin but I am coming against you in the name of the Lord of hosts” (1 Samuel 17 verse 45).