POLICE have arrested four suspected opposition members in connection with the brutal attack last weekend on Harare North MDC MP Trudy Stevenson, it was c
Police spokesperson Inspector Andrew Phiri said four suspects were arrested in Mabvuku in Harare. They were detained by police pending investigations.
“The four suspects who were arrested in Mabvuku are: Tererai Todini (25), a caretaker at a safe house, Number 105 Nelson Mandela, which belongs to the MDC anti-senate faction; Tonderai Ndira (29), Tendai Chidziva (24) and Ernest Zhangazhe.
“All the suspects stay in Mabvuku,” Phiri said.
Stevenson, who belongs to the MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara, was attacked on Sunday on her way from a campaign rally in Mabvuku in the company of colleagues, Linos Mushonga, Simangele Manyere, Tawanda Udzerema and Lackson Mudachira. Personal possessions such as cell phones and money were stolen.
Gabriel Chaibva, spokesperson for the Mutambara faction, said yesterday that Stevenson was operated on and discharged from hospital on Wednesday. He said Mushonga and Manyere were still in hospital with the hospital bills expected to exceed $1,5 billion.
The Mutambara faction has blamed the MDC camp led by founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai for the violent mob attacks. The faction yesterday said Tsvangirai’s camp had smuggled some of the suspects, who were harboured at a “safe house” in Bulawayo by a senior opposition official, to South Africa to ensure they escaped justice. It accused the Tsvangirai faction of trying to protect “violent criminals by exiling them to neighbouring countries”.
However, the Tsvangirai faction has denied responsibility although it has set up a commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of the matter. It said those responsible would be punished if they were found within its ranks.
Mutambara’s group secretary-general Welshman Ncube said the commission of inquiry by Tsvangirai’s camp was a smokescreen to cover-up its tracks in the incident which has been widely condemned locally and internationally. He said there had been several investigations into intra-MDC violence before it split and nothing was done about it, except firing and rehiring criminals.
But senior officials of the Tsvangirai group, who include secretary-general Tendai Biti and spokesman Nelson Chamisa, have defended their faction, saying those responsible were not its members.
Western diplomats said yesterday the issue has damaged the credibility of Tsvangirai’s faction. They said the case has undermined the image of the opposition parties in Zimbabwe and would make it difficult for them to criticize the Mugabe regime in future.