MDC Harare province takes turns looking after jailed party activists
By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Two opposition activists Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere, who were convicted in 2016 over a controversial case involving the murder of a police Inspector Petros Mutedza, are still being supported by the MDC Harare Province led by its secretary for welfare Zivai Mhetu.
On Friday, Mhetu led the Harare Province of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)’s social welfare department and delivered groceries to the jailed party members.
Mhetu told Nehanda Radio that 29 constituencies in the province take turns to fund groceries for the the prisoners and their families every month. He said the MDC cadres were in good state, hence they passed greetings to the party leader Nelson Chamisa.
“From the time I was appointed Harare Province secretary for welfare last year, I devised a calendar for prison visits where we interact with political victims Maengahama and Madzokere.
“The plan is meant to fulfil social democratic tenets, that is solidarity, justice and freedom. Each district in Harare province is allocated a turn to visit political prisoners once a month.
“I’m quite impressed that on each visit we always find them in high spirits.
“Last week, they requested if I may pass their gratitude to president Chamisa for Harare Province’s consistency in prison visits. They knew that the visits had the blessing of the party president who personally reached out to them last year at Chikurubi,” Mhetu said.
Maengahama and Madzokere, together with Yvonne Musarurwa, were convicted in September 2016 for the murder of ZRP officer in Harare’s Glen View area back in 2012 and they are serving a 20-year jail term each.
Musarurwa was released in 2017 after benefiting from a presidential amnesty aimed at easing congestion in the country’s prisons.
In September 2016, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu handled the case which had been fraught with controversy and slapped Madzokere, Musarurwa and Maengahama with jail sentences after they were convicted of murder with actual intent.
Chamisa is on record arguing that the conviction of the MDC activists was politically motivated.
“I really had some good and nice time with the comrades. As you may know our cdes are being politically persecuted as they did not commit the alleged crime.
“I know Last in particular, to be a born again and humble child of God. Tunga and Yvonne are equally excellent personalities whose deportment and disposition I always trust,” Chamisa said when he met them at Chikurubi in 2017 after they had marked just a year in the cells.
Initially, the group consisted of over 30 MDC activists arrested over the same matter, although the majority were later released for lack of incriminating evidence.
MDC argues that the case has been politicised because the judge took more than three years to convict after a lengthy trial.
The MDC, however, maintained the position that the activists did not commit the murder and that their arrest and jailing was politically motivated.
“Personally, I have high regard for Zimbabwe’s judiciary system except on political matters. It is my hope that the State shows reformation through expediting an appeal sitting at the Supreme Court for set down and free these two political victims,” Mhetu added. Nehanda Radio