THE opposition MDC has alleged that police are harassing its officials and members in Bulawayo by demanding personal information pertaining to their political history and details of the part
y’s grassroots membership.
MDC information and publicity officer for Bulawayo province Victor Moyo said officers from the Law and Order Section were visiting the party’s district and ward leaders in the city demanding that they give information about themselves and other members.
“The police have been intimidating our members and forcing them to divulge sensitive information about themselves and about other members in the party,” Moyo said.
He said Pumula South councillor Rodger Sibanda was visited twice at his home last week.
“Police visited Sibanda and asked him to fill in a form outlining his political history. He refused but they returned later and forced him to provide the details together with information on other party members,” Moyo said.
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena promised to comment later on the allegations but had not done so at the time of going to press.
Allegations of harassment of MDC councillors come a few days after the release of results of a survey of 50 of the MDC’s 59 MPs conducted by the Johannesburg-based Zimbabwe Institute.
The survey revealed that almost all opposition MPs have been terrorised through violence, intimidation and arrest.
The report further stated that 90% of the MPs had been jailed while 42% had been physically assaulted.
Moyo said another MDC councillor, Angilacala Ndlovu, was ordered to give information on the party’s structures at branch and district levels.
“The action by the police is abhorrent. We are not sure for what purpose the police want to use the information they are collecting or whether they are being used by Zanu PF ahead of elections next year.
“What the police are doing is intimidating our members ahead of the 2005 parliamentary election and we are saying there should be a stop to that,” he said.