By Chris Mahove
The opposition MDC-T party says it will soon be approaching government to consider an amnesty for three party members who are serving 20-year jail terms for the murder of a police officer in 2011.
The trio, Last Maengahama, Tungamirai Madzokere, and Yvonne Musarurwa were sentenced in December 2016 by High Court judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu after finding them guilty of murder with actual intent.
A fourth activist, Phineas Nhatarikwa, was convicted of a lesser offence of being an accessory to the crime and received a wholly suspended three-year sentence.
All four were arrested along with 23 other MDC-T activists in Harare’s Glen View suburb after skirmishes which led to the death of Police Inspector Petros Mutedza. The others were acquitted.
The MDC-T, however, insists that the activists did not commit the murder and that their arrest and jailing was politically motivated.
Acting party leader Elias Mudzuri, on Monday, visited the jailed activists at Chikurubi Maximum Prison where he said the three were political prisoners and be released.
In a statement issued after the visit, MDC-T presidential spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said Mudzuri had told the prisoners that the party was aware they were innocent.
“The acting party leader, who brought the three political prisoners groceries and other basic requirements, said the party leadership was aware that the three did not commit any crime and hoped that the Mnangagwa administration would consider them as political prisoners and grant them amnesty,” he said.
Tamborinyoka said the three activists were hopeful they would soon be released and optimistic that the MDC-T would win the next election.
Madzokere and Maengahama, who are currently pursuing degree programmes in Development Studies and Theology respectively, said they were hopeful they would soon re-join their families.
Musarurwa was so upbeat that instead of the Acting President praying for her, she offered to pray for the delegation as well as party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who is currently on a routine medical visit to South Africa” he said.
Tamborinyoka said it was inspiring that the three were not dampened by their current situation, adding that they also spoke about the poor conditions at the prison, which has no running water or lights.
Mudzuri was accompanied by the party’s Secretary for Welfare, Concillia Chinanzvavana, chief of staff Sessel Zvidzai and Secretary for Security Giles Mutsekwa.