By Christopher Makaza
MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa who usually blames the ruling party Zanu PF for violating the rule of law, has himself directed two of his party members, Zengeza East legislator Goodrich Chimbaira and Chitungwiza ward 15 councillor Jabulani Mtunzi to withdraw their case from the courts to protect the image of the party.
Chimbaira was arrested on 2 April on charges of public violence that occurred at the party’s Ward 17 councillor Fungai Magadzire’s home in Chitungwiza on April 1 where he also allegedly assaulted and tried to run over Mtunzi with his Toyota Fortuner, a case which was treated as attempted murder.
According to a source within the party, Chamisa summoned the two to his Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House (MRT) office where he commanded Mtunzi to withdraw the case and encouraged the two to make an out of court settlement. Chamisa feared that Chimbaira could be convicted, a development that will lead to a by-election which they might lose to Zanu PF.
In Masvingo, MDC dismally lost the Bikita East Constituency Ward 32. Zanu-PF also snatched a ward from the MDC-Alliance in Nyanga by-elections. Zanu PF went on to win the Lupane East by-election. Chamisa fears that more by-elections could mean more MDC loses considering the squabbles prevailing within the opposition party.
Chamisa then tasked Chimbaira to pay Mtunzi as an admission that he wronged him. Mtunzi was allegedly paid $3 450 by Chimbaira to silence him.
After the payment, the two allegedly approached investigating officer Detective Constable Lovemore Machazira of CID Law and Order and told him that they were now preferring an out of court settlement to which Machazira advised them to approach Chitungwiza District Public Prosecutor Tendai Shonhiwa.
It is alleged that Shonhiwa then wrote to Chitungwiza Magistrate, Winfilder Tiatara and Chimbaira`s Lawyer Alec Muchadehama advising them of the development.
According to the source, Mtunzi was now claiming that he couldn`t identify the person who tried to run over him using Chimbaira`s car in an effort to protect Chimbaira.
Although Mtunzi withdrew the assault case, the attempted murder case was now at the High Court which still leaves Chimbaira with a case to answer.
Cases of violence in the MDC-Alliance were on the rise as the party prepared for its Gweru elective congress.