Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma became the first minister in Zimbabwe to be charged with criminal abuse of office.
The Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo was dethroned after the Supreme Court upheld an application by Tsholotsho North MP and Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo to set aside his election.
These events have plunged the unity government into a fresh crisis.
An emotional Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday rightly complained that members of his party were being targeted by the police, yet nothing was done to Zanu PF officials also accused of corruption and other offences.
Tsvangirai wondered why the police had not taken action against Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, accused of improperly acquiring a vast business empire. He also talked about other officials implicated in the looting of state funds and diamonds.
As usual, Tsvangirai threatened to boycott the inclusive government. But judging from experience, these threats have done little to curtail Zanu PF’s misbehaviour, nor are they likely to stop the police from selectively applying the law.
Police Commissioner-General Augusti-ne Chihuri, whose distaste for the MDC-T is well known, is unlikely to relent in his mission to hobble the MDC-T through arrests of its members on charges that often fall away under judicial scrutiny.
A few weeks ago Chihuri’s officers arrested MDC MP Douglas Mwonzora and only last week they picked up Mangoma. Who’s next? Nobody’s safe, it seems, not even Tsvangirai himself.
What is needed is for the MDC-T to come up with a clear strategy on how they can respond to the threat posed by these politically-motivated arrests.
He should, as a matter of urgency, robustly engage Sadc and call on the AU to intervene instead of lamely threatening “divorce” every time Zanu PF violates the accord.