POLICE are appealing for information that may lead to the arrest of nine suspects including MDC Alliance leaders Mr Tendai Biti and Morgen Komichi who allegedly incited violence that rocked Harare last Wednesday following the party’s ‘loss’ to Zanu-PF.
The MDC Alliance has rejected the election results in which President Mnangagwa narrowly beat Mr Nelson Chamisa after garnering 50,8 percent against the coalition leader’s 44,3 percent.
The ruling Zanu-PF won 145 National Assembly seats against the MDC Alliance’s 63 seats.
NPF got one and the other was grabbed by Mr Temba Mliswa, who ran as an independent candidate for Norton.
In a statement yesterday, a spokesperson for the CID, Detective Assistant Inspector Portia Chinho said the nine suspects, who also include the party’s youth leader Happymore Chidziva, Jim Kunaka, Paddington Japajapa, Mafaiti Mubaiwa, Jeff Tafadzwa Chaitezvi, Lovejoy Chitengu and Chamunorwa Madya, would face charges under the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act for allegedly participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.
“They are wanted by the Criminal Investigations Department for Contravening Section 37 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, Chapter 9:23,” said Det Asst Insp Chinho. “That is “Participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry.
“We are appealing to members of the public who may have information that may lead to the arrest of the following to contact Criminal Investigations Department Law and Order Harare on 0242- 779214 or their nearest police station”.
The 27 supporters who were arrested last week appeared in court yesterday. According to the State, on August 1 at about 1200hrs, the accused persons were part of a group that held an illegal demonstration mobilised by the Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance against the alleged delay by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to announce the July 30 presidential election results.
The suspects, who were acting together with about 4 000 others still at large, marched along Rezende Street and Bank Street in Harare Central Business District.
On arrival at the Market Square Police Base, the accused threatened to assault police officers.
They went to corner Rezende Street and Bank Street in Harare where they pulled down a portrait of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, before burning it.
They then allegedly proceeded to KFC food outlet where they stoned the shop, before proceeding to Pizza Inn where they did the same.
The accused also allegedly stoned the Bakers Inn outlet along First street.
A team of police reaction unit intercepted the accused, who ran away along Nelson Mandela.
MDC Alliance supporters ran amok in Harare’s city centre destroying property, torching vehicles, looting and robbing vendors and pedestrians culminating in the death of six people.
The opposition supporters also tried to storm the National Results Centre at the Harare International Conference Centre.
They also burnt several cars at the ruling party’s provincial headquarters.
Following the violence, President-elect Mnangagwa said the party should be held accountable for the violence.
He also said the MDC Alliance leadership should also be held responsible for any loss of life or property that could have happened.
African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee member and the party’s former spokesperson Mr Zizi Kodwa said MDC-Alliance leader Mr Chamisa must be held accountable for the violence after he issued inflammatory and reckless statements.
Mr Chamisa and some senior members of the MDC-Alliance are on record threatening post-election violence if not declared the winners by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
Posted Mr Kodwa on his Twitter handle: “Nelson Chamisa of MDC must be held accountable for inflammatory and reckless statements which has now led to eruption of violent protests in Harare.”
A report recently released by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) ranked the MDC-T as the most violent party for the month of June after it recorded 16 cases of intra-party violence against Zanu-PF’s three incidents.
Despite Mr Chamisa and Mr Biti rejecting the poll outcome, a top MDC Alliance official and founding member of the MDC-T, Mr Eddie Cross, has dismissed claims that Zanu-PF rigged the harmonised elections.
Mr Cross also said any legal challenge to President-elect Mnangagwa’s victory would be short-lived because the President wanted to win a free and fair election to break with the controversies that dogged the Mr Robert Mugabe era.