By Jessica Mundawarara|
About 100 heavily armed riot police with an armoured car barricaded Harvest House, the MDC-T headquarters on Wednesday, preventing senior officials from leaving, a party spokesman said.
The siege came after scores of MDC youths were assaulted by police after delivering an oral message to parliamentarians demanding that state agents return abducted activist Itai Dzamara.
Dzamara’s lawyer, Charles Kwaramba, said his client had not been found at Harare central police station as claimed by some on social networks.
“Lawyers checked at Police Law and Order section but were told he’s not there. The position now is that he has not been found. It’s not known where he is,” Kwaramba said.
MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said on Facebook that he was one of about 12 party workers trapped for hours in the party office.
“Am currently marooned inside Harvest House, the MDC headquarters. An armoured police vehicle with some 40 or so policemen is right at the entrance while about 50 armed police are at the back of the building. They are saying they want a police helmet and a baton, without explaining where, how and why those things should be inside the building. When I tried to go out, about 10 armed riot police charged towards me, saying no one will go out of the building without the police helmet and baton. Cry the beloved country, under the AU and SADC chair,” Tamborinyoka said.
Outside, the police were harassing and searching people passing on the street close to Harvest House.
Tsvangirai was away in Bulawayo on party business when the police sealed the offices.
Dzamara was kidnapped in Glen View Monday by five men, one of whom he said was a state security agent as he was bundled into a white Isuzu truck, part of whose registration is ABB 2.
Some reports claimed Dzamara had been murdered by his kidnappers, suspected to be members of Mugabe’s secret police, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), which is notorious for political assassinations of Mugabe opponents since Independence in 1980.