MDC leader Nelson Chamisa faces arrest after an unnamed person made a counter police report of attempted kidnapping and assault at Marondera Police Station.
This came shortly after Chamisa’s security team had also filed a report at Mabvuku Police Station, alleging there had been an attempt to abduct the opposition leader by suspected State operatives as he made his way from a rally.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa, in a statement yesterday, however, dismissed claims that there had been an attempt on Chamisa’s life by State security agents, describing the incident as a simple case of road rage.
She said the owner of a Toyota Harrier involved in the incident was the one who was blocked by Chamisa’s security team and attacked, leading to him reporting the matter to the police.
“Reports filed by the police indicate that some people were coming from Marondera, driving behind what they later learnt to be Mr Chamisa’s convoy.
Suddenly, the convoy stopped and blocked them from overtaking. They were aggressively confronted and manhandled by members of Mr Chamisa’s entourage, including Mr Chamisa, who lobbed himself at the back seat of their vehicle, punching and scratching,” Mutsvangwa said.
She said the real victims of the attack were civilians in the Toyota Harrier who had no links with State security and added that the police were carrying out further investigations.
MDC vice-president Morgen Komichi accused the government of putting a spin to the saga to save its face after their planned abduction plot was unmasked in broad daylight by Chamisa’s security team.
“We know of a plot by government and Zanu PF to eliminate the top leadership of the party. The incident, which happened on Saturday, is not isolated. In fact, government, through the police, are aware of several other incidents already reported to the police in Avondale and Harare Central,” he said.
The MDC vice-president said those who had been tailgating Chamisa were using number plates of cars that would have crashed in accidents or taken from their owners by State agents, and those number plates have been handed over to the police, who have failed to investigate.
“MDC supporters are used to this abuse of State resources to favour the ruling party. When our supporters are attacked and they report to the police, it is them who are arrested. The police use their monopoly on legal force to bear on the victims and this is what is happening now,” he said.
Komichi said there was an attempt on Chamisa’s life when the hired hand behind the wheel of the Toyota Harrier tried to cause an accident involving Chamisa’s convoy, adding that the statement by government showed that they had already placed blame and concluded investigations.
MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said Chamisa had been attacked by State security personnel on his way from Marondera in a failed abduction.
“We had an altercation with the CIO. They then blocked the convoy and tried to retrieve Chamisa from the presidential car. Our security managed to block them from taking him or part of his personnel,” he said, adding they would reveal more details at today’s Press conference.
Mutsvangwa, however, denied that any government agents acted in any way to threaten Chamisa’s life or abduct him during his trip from Marondera.
“Government would like to categorically state that neither the intelligence services nor any security services or any government arm owns the Toyota Harrier in the video. A quick check at the Central Vehicle Registry would show the media or any interested parties who the owner of the Toyota Harrier is,” she said.
Last month, Chamisa said his life was under threat, with “suspicious vehicles” trailing his movements in what his party described as a serious violation of his right to personal security.
The opposition party said it suspected those trailing their leader had military and intelligence links.
At the time, Mafume said there was increased surveillance on his boss, but warned if anything happened to Chamisa, they would hold the State accountable.
In the latest incident, MDC claimed State security agents tried to snatch Chamisa and a fracas ensued between the suspected abductors and Chamisa’s security team in Ruwa, a few kilometres from Harare.
This was after about six vehicles had reportedly followed Chamisa’s convoy from Marondera, where he had addressed thousands of supporters at a “thank you” rally at Rudhaka Stadium.