(Last Updated on February 26, 2013 by Editor)
ZIMBABWE – Zanu- PF has dismissed as baseless, offensive and malicious allegations by MDC-T that the party was responsible for the untimely death of Christpower.
Police have summoned forensic scientists to ascertain the cause of the fire. Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said Zanu-PF was confident that police investigations would reveal the truth of the matter.
“Our members in the said constituency have all confirmed they had nothing to do with this unfortunate incident. If anything, we have received reports of the existence of a cordial relationship between our supporters and Mr Maisiri’s family.
“Police are now investigating the matter and we are confident they will get to the bottom of it as timeously and as diligently as possible because it is in the public interest that they do so,” he said. Gumbo said Zanu-PF did not condone violence as evidenced by President Mugabe’s relentless call for tolerance.
“We have no reason to believe that our members would so openly defy his genuine efforts to make sure we have a peaceful referendum as well as free and fair elections. The sad truth is that the MDC-T relies on violence as a campaign strategy.
“We believe that this particular incident, like several others before it, was staged to try and put Zimbabwe on the international spotlight with a view to discrediting what is now an imminent and inevitable Zanu PF victory in the coming elections,” he said.
Gumbo said the MDC-T was concocting stories because it was scared of losing elections scheduled for this year. “It is a well known fact, as confirmed by the three independent opinion polls so far released, that the MDC-T has lost considerable support and that it has no real prospect of winning in the forthcoming elections,” he said.
Police yesterday said the cause of the fire which killed Christpower was still unknown. Deputy chief police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka said the now deceased together with his brothers were sleeping in a grass thatched hut when the incident occurred.
He said at around 11pm, James was awakened by the flames and woke up the other siblings. Munashe escaped unhurt while James reportedly rescued Tinotenda and Panashe. “At the time James tried to rescue Christpower, the roof had collapsed and he failed. The boy was burnt to death,” Chief Supt Mandipaka said.
He said Shepherd Maisiri phoned police at Inyati Police Post at around 2.20am the following day. The police from Inyati attended the scene, according to Chief Supt Mandipaka.
In the house there were four bags of ammonium nitrate fertilizers, four scotch cart tyres, two tubes, one bicycle, various clothes and blankets, a mattress, Maisiri’s passport, eight birth certificates, text books and tobacco chemicals.
“There is a high possibility that the bags of fertilizers and tobacco chemicals could have exploded during the burning process but we are still investigating the case.
“We have since summoned our forensic scientists to attend the scene to establish the cause of the fire.”
Chief Supt Mandipaka said there was no need for speculation as police were investigating the matter.
“It would be premature for us as police to say it was politically motivated or political violence in the absence of concrete evidence that we can have at our disposal after thorough investigations.” He said investigations had also revealed that Maisiri made two reports in 2008, one for malicious damage to property (CR 10/9/08) and another one for stock theft (CR 61/9/08).
There were, however, media reports that his house was burnt nine times. The reports claimed that he had reported the cases to the police. Christpower’s body was taken to Rusape General Hospital mortuary for post mortem.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora was quoted blaming the incident on Zanu-PF. In a statement released by the MDC’s media department below:
Christpowers Simbarashe Maisiri, the 12 year old boy who died on Saturday after the hut he was sleeping in was set on fire by Zanu PF thugs in Headlands, will be laid to rest on Thursday.
Christpowers is, the MDC Headlands deputy organising secretary Shepherd Maisiri’s son.The burial will take place at Dzikiti Village also known as Village 55.
Today, there will be a post-mortem carried out at Parirenyatwa Hospital after which the body will be taken to Rusape hospital mortuary before burial which is set for Thursday.
Before this incident, Maisiri’s house has been attacked by Zanu PF gendarmes at least nine times but no arrests have ever been made.
The MDC’s position on the escalation of violence is that it will not allow a repeat of the 2008 atrocities when over 500 members were murdered by Zanu PF and State security agents. The MDC remains steadfast in the march towards a new democratic dispensation, which recognizes and respects the rights of every Zimbabwean.
The time has come for every Zimbabwean young and old to define their future through their vote.