THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has instructed its ministers to lobby for the release of 29 of its members languishing in remand prison for the alleged murder of a police officer in Harare's Glen View high density suburb.
The 29 supporters, now popularly referred to as the Glen View 29, have been locked up for more than a year and a half with numerous bail applications failing at the High Court.
The MDC-T says the 29 are innocent and their arrest was part of a grand plan to intimidate and harass its supporters.
The murder case, which is at the courts, has taken a new twist with the father and brother of the deceased policeman making sensational claims last week that the 29 were innocent, charging that police inspector Petros Mutedza was in fact killed by State agents.
Consequently, the MDC-T in resolutions made as part of its 13th anniversary in Bulawayo directed its appointees in government to urgently push for the release of the "Glen View 29".
Part of the resolutions read; "The party notes with uttermost disgust the continued incarceration of our Youth Assembly national chairperson, Solomon Madzore and 28 others . . The party demands the immediate release of arrested cadres and in any event demands the expeditious due process with regards to those that have been arrested," and;
- The party notes with irony that while no stone has been left unturned with regards to the arrests and harassment of MDC activists, many perpetrators of violence against MDC members continue to walk scot-free.
- The party directs its appointees in government to raise this matter as a matter of urgency in government structures including Cabinet, Council of Ministers, Parliament and the National Security Council.
MDC-T national spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, confirmed the Bulawayo meeting resolved to push for the release of the 29, at least on bail.
"We are calling for the release of the 29 and the fair application of the law in their case. The conditions for bail are clearly right. But we don't want to be seen to be interfering with the law but justice must prevail," said Mwonzora.
Apart from Madzore, the other 28 include Edwin Muingiri, Simon Mudimu, Gabriel Banda, Zwelibanzi Dube, Stefani Takaedzwa, Francis Vambai, Sydney Chirombe, Abina Rutsito, Stanford Mangwiro, Cynthia Manjoro, Last Maengahama, Lazarus Maengahama, Stanford Maengahama, Rebecca Mafukeni, Kerina Gweshe, Memory Ncube, Paul Rukanda, Linda Musiyamhanje, Yvonne Musarurwa, Simon Mapanzure, Tafadzwa Billiart, Jephias Moyo, Lovemore Taruvinga, Tendai Chinyama, Phineas Nhatarikwa, Gapare Nyamadzawo, Augustine Tengenyika and Tungamirai Madzokere.
Cabinet action is now expected after the father of the deceased police Inspector Mutedza, claimed in court that he was convinced that the accused 29 were not responsible for his son's death suggesting instead, that they be granted bail.
The senior Mutedza who also informed the court of his affiliation to ZANU-PF said he is convinced his son was killed by ZANU-PF members and not MDC-T activists as alleged by the State.
He claimed he had seen a deep cut on the right cheek and the tongue had been cut out from his son's corpse.
Mutedza also claimed there was a deep cut on the forehead and the genitals were missing thereby contradicting what the police claimed to be the injuries sustained by the deceased.
According to the police, Mutedza was struck by a stone in the head.
But state prosecutor, Edmore Nyazemba, argued that the post mortem results indicated that the deceased had no genitals missing before and after the post mortem, suggesting instead that Tichaona, the deceased's brother, had removed the genitals.
This was denied by the father who told the court that his son, Tichaona, had no reason to mutilate his brother's body.