The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) yesterday raided MDC-Alliance’s headquarters in Harare after obtaining a search warrant to search for offensive weapons meant for criminal use.
The party had earlier on issued a statement alleging that police had besieged its headquarters to plant machetes, in an attempt to portray it as a criminal organisation.
Police, however, dismissed the claims saying they had a constitutional mandate to maintain law and order in the country.
In an interview, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police were enforcing the search warrant that had been issued.
“Police are enforcing a search warrant issued by the court in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, in connection with the suspicion of possession of articles for criminal use as defined in Section 40 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9.23) with regards to the maintenance of law and order,” he said.
By last night, he said no arrests had been made and the officers were still on the ground.
Police cordoned off the corner of Angwa Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue and Nelson Mandela and First Street, which form the street block where the party’s headquarters are located. A crowd that had gathered near the opposition offices was dispersed around 6.30pm.
Asst Comm Nyathi said whoever was alleging that the police intended to plant machetes should bring evidence to that effect.
In October last year, police recovered 210 anti-riot and 46 municipal police helmets stashed in the basement of Robinson House at the corner of Kwame Nkrumah Avenue and Angwa Street in Harare.
Also recovered were stones, bricks and sticks believed to have been earmarked for use in violent street demonstrations.
The cache was stumbled upon after police pursued a group of thugs that had attacked a police officer who reportedly was waiting for someone at the building.