By A Correspondent| Opposition MDC Alliance supporters are living in fear following reports that the police took confidential party records including membership registers when they raided the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC Alliance) headquarters in Harare in the aftermath of the 2018 general elections.
When the police raided Harvest house, scores of party members and employees were arrested while computer hardware were seized in a crackdown against opposition party after protesting against election management body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission delaying announcing results that declared Zanu PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa as the winner.
The police, who were armed with a search warrant suspecting ‘possession of dangerous weapons’, stormed the MDC Alliance headquarters, Harvest House, which resulted in them confiscating computers that had confidential party records.
Opposition members dotted across the country are now living in fear as the police have begun a crackdown on members of the party suspected to be oiling the broken party that had been relying on donations from its members ahead of the July plebiscite that resulted in the death of seven opposition members on August 1st.
Ahead of the 2018 elections, MDC Alliance had appealed for funding to its members dotted across the country.
Those outside the borders including South Africa, Botswana, United Kingdom, United States of America, Norway, Germany and United Arab Emirates have been contributing towards party programmes and campaigns in the run-up to the 2018 elections.
MDC Alliance Secretary for Diaspora, Clifford Hlatywayo accused state security agents of criminalising citizens’ right to join and participate in political activities of their choice.
“Zanu PF is scared of the power of our membership to pull resources together. Their aim is to suffocate us, but we will not allow them to criminalise our members’ right to association,” said Hlatywayo.
In an interview with ZimEye, Allan Mapfumo, who was then based in the United Arab Emirates, said he had a brush with state security agents during his last visit to Zimbabwe.
Mapfumo said he was questioned and had his passport taken to some private office at the airport before he was allowed to leave.
“On the 12th April 2019 I landed at Robert Mugabe Airport and was received by my family. On our way home we noticed two 4×4 black double cab cars trailing us. Along Airport road we stopped expecting cars to proceed but they stopped and blocked our family car, a Subaru,” he said.
This was followed by unregistered vehicles being spotted outside his house until he decided to sneak out of the country fearing for his security.
Tafadzwa Mugwadi, Zanu PF Director of Information, said his party will not lose sleep over claims by opposition supporters who are bent on soiling the image of the country.
“That has been their business, they are always tarnishing the image of the country every time they get an opportunity and we will not lose sleep over such,” said Mugwadi.
Another MDC Alliance party member Yeukai Mariya said her family has been receiving suspicious calls from people asking about her whereabouts.
“My mother called to say she got a call from some lady asking about me, at first I thought the person was one of my old friends but then the calls kept coming from different people and that is when I realized it was something serious,
“My parents went into hiding for some time because some unmarked vehicles were now visiting our house at night. I later received some calls from a Zimbabwean number but the person would just call and remain silent,” said Mariya.
Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they will investigate the allegations.