The MDC have
dismissed as a publicity stunt an invitation by Home Affairs Minister
Kembo Mohadi to discuss their claims of escalating state sponsored
violence. Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa told Newsreel it was ridiculous
for the perpetrators of violence to invite the victims for a meeting.
He also said it was incorrect for the state media to allege that
MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai had been summoned to a meeting by
Mohadi, when in fact the minister invited the party in general to
send representatives. The meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday
morning at Mohadi's Harare office.
Earlier in the
week the opposition threatened to pull out of mediation talks if
Zanu PF continued its nationwide violent clampdown on MDC activists.
The MDC say the violence is against the spirit of the dialogue currently
taking place and the police should, 'act professionally and
prove on the ground that they are not an appendage of Zanu PF.'
Chamisa said, 'the question of dialogue should not just end
in Pretoria, it should not be summertime in Pretoria when it continues
to be winter here in Zimbabwe.' He said people on the ground
should feel the benefits of the dialogue and this would help build
confidence in the process.
Worried by the
potential fallout of an MDC withdrawal from the talks, Mugabe's
regime responded with a propaganda offensive to try and appear concerned
about the violence. This is the context in which the MDC is viewing
the meeting. Chamisa argued it would have made more sense for the
minister to summon the various provincial police chiefs to explain
the violence in their areas, than to request a meeting with the
victims. He said although they will send party representatives to
give evidence, those attending the meeting will not be lectured
to by Mohadi.
MDC youths were arrested in Bindura after a party youth forum meeting
on Sunday. Taedza Muputa, Archibald Ncube, Meleni Mudende, Innocent
Chikaya and Keddie Magoda were still in detention late Monday. It
was not yet clear what charges they are facing.
The party was
busy arranging legal representations on Monday.