MDC secretary general arrested

Harare – The secretary general of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Douglas Mwonzora has been arrested on fraud charges while another prominent opposition activist has been “severely assaulted” by police, it was claimed on Sunday.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba told the Sunday Mail: “I can confirm the arrest of Mr Mwonzora. It is in connection with misappropriation of trust funds.”

The MDC’s Obert Gutu told Sapa in an interview that he had no further information.

“Someone sent me a message last night on WhatsApp to say Douglas has been arrested [on Saturday]. I said I didn’t know because I was in Nairobi. But when I arrived today I see there’s a very short story in the Sunday Mail to say he has been arrested.”

The paper said the sum allegedly involved was $15 000.

Mwonzora, a lawyer, was previously MDC spokesperson and was only elected to the post of secretary general of the 15-year-old opposition party earlier this month. He has been arrested at least twice before in connection with his work in the party.

Meanwhile, MDC activist and former MP Job Sikhala was “severely assaulted” by a police officer and had to be briefly hospitalised, Gutu said.

He said Sikhala was assaulted by a female police officer when he reported to Harare Central Police Station for questioning in connection with an alleged plot to topple long time president Robert Mugabe.

Gutu said: “I understand he was released late yesterday afternoon (Saturday) from the Avenues Clinic,” a private hospital in Harare.

Zimbabwe’s beleaguered Vice President Joice Mujuru has also recently been accused of involvement in a plot to topple Mugabe, 90, as fighting within the ruling party peaks ahead of a congress beginning on Thursday.


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