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State using apartheid-style surveillance on Chamisa

By Daniel Chigundu

MDC Alliance has accused government through the dreaded CIO of using apartheid-style surveillance on its leader Nelson Chamisa which includes interfering with his vehicles.

The party alleges that some self-confessed CIOs tried to abduct the opposition leader in Mabvuku on their way from a thank-you rally in Marondera.

There is an amateur footage of the alleged scuffle circulating on social media which has drawn varying conclusions.

However, addressing the media MDC Alliance spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the party is worried that the intention might be to cause death through an accident.

“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,” he said.

Referring to the Saturday incident Mafume said “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,” he said.

It is alleged that reported CIO operatives physically interfered with the motorcade and attempted to grab and abduct the President.

They are alleged to have 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.

MDC Alliance added that Chamisa’s motorcade then returned to the highway, turned into Mabvuku and drove to the police station where a report was made.

Mafume said this is not the first time that 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 Morgan 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,” he said.

Meanwhile, the MDC Alliance spokesperson has dismissed the statement by Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa adding that it was malicious and unfortunate.

“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.

“…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),” said Mafume.



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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He writes for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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