By Staff Reporter
Suspected state security agents smashed the passenger window of a car being driven by MDC Secretary for International Relations, Gladys Hlatshwayo, and made away with an Apple laptop.
Speaking to Nehanda Radio, Hlatshwayo who was coming from a party meeting, confirmed the incident took place as she was turning from Harare Drive into Kirkman Road in the capital around 7 pm on Thursday. Bizarrely a handbag with money and other valuables was left untouched.
The incident also comes a few days after the state media ran a story claiming she had been evicted from her lodgings in Mabelreign over failure to pay rent, something she scoffed off as ridiculous.
“The allegations by Mrs Memory Matiyenga (landlady) are baseless, outright lies and a sting operation aimed at soiling my image. I only got to know after she gave me a notice to vacate the property that she was married to a former Zimbabwean Ambassador who is now deceased.
“She did not give any reason for the notice and I did not owe her a dime! I paid my all my rentals and obligations contrary to what she is claiming. To show that she had an ulterior motive, she approached the courts for an eviction order and never served me with summons.
“The courts proceeded to issue a default judgement despite the fact that I was not served with summons. This was meant to ensure that I did not get a chance to give the correct narrative and debunk her lies before the courts.
“I only became aware of the court process when the messenger of court served me with the eviction order on Saturday 25 January 2020 to the effect that I was to be evicted on the 29th of January. I was obviously shocked.
“I looked for another place and left her place on the 28th of January before eviction day. I am told that on the day of the eviction she had mobilised The Herald to be present in a clear sting operation that had a political agenda. The roping in of the party and leadership in an accommodation issue was also a clear sign of the landlord’s agenda.
Hlatshwayo believes she is being targeted by the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa because they blame her for the UK snubbing the Zanu PF leader at the recent UK-Africa summit.
“I was obviously targeted for the role I am playing in the foreign affairs desk of the MDC. It is no coincidence that the landlord is linked to the ZANU system through Foreign Affairs. I strongly think that the reason I got the notice to vacate the premises is because I am in the MDC Leadership.
“Infact, Mrs Matienga insinuated this when she told The Herald that she only became aware of my MDC connection after she leased the property. This suggests that if she had known before she would not have leased the property to me.
“The Herald also did not bother to contact me to get my side of the story but went on to publish falsehoods in a manner they have always done in cases involving members of my party the MDC.”
“I am of the opinion that there is an elaborate plan to target me on the basis of the role I play in the MDC. On the same day that the media was awash with these lies meant to discredit me, I was a victim of a smash and grab that targeted my laptop only despite the fact that there was also my handbag with money.
“It was also raining and would have been difficult for common criminals to see the laptop bag in my car. This happened as I left the venue where we were having our MDC National Executive Retreat.
“I remain unmoved by these attempts to intimidate me and will remain resolute in fighting for a democratic Zimbabwe. I will continue to discharge my duties as the Secretary for International Relations of our party with precision and energy.
“Such attacks are an indicator that I am making significant strides in my work. We shall continue rolling out diplomatic offenses in line with our 2020 Agenda as enunciated by our President Advocate Chamisa. I shall be unrelenting and will mobilise for more diplomatic pressure on this fascist and authoritarian regime!” Hlatshwayo told Nehanda Radio.