Background to Christopher Mutsvangwa PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 21 September 2014 11:41

Former ZBC boss unleashed terror in Norton


Christopher Hatikure Mutsvangwa, the former director of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) unleashed a reign of terror in the Norton constituency after losing to a little known MDC-T candidate in 2008. Several opposition activists died at the hands of terror mobs he personally directed.


In SW Radio Africa’s continuing exposé of individuals behind some of the most brutal acts of political violence in Zimbabwe, we focus on Mutsvangwa who was then the ZANU PF parliamentary candidate for Norton. As a former agent in the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) it came as no surprise that 60 percent of the reported cases of violence and murder were committed by CIO agents.


A dossier supplied to SW Radio Africa, containing detailed witness testimonies, alleges that in August 2009 Mutsvangwa was behind the shooting and killing of Costa Matete and two other people in Highlands. The widow of one of the victims has since filed a law suit against Mutsvangwa for the cold blooded murder of her husband.


Although the widow claims that the murder was politically motivated, Mutsvangwa claims the trio robbed his wife. Saliwe Nduna, widow of Costa Matete, is suing the police, alleging that her husband was killed by detectives to hide evidence of an illegal diamond deal involving Mutsvangwa.


Meanwhile, on the 1st of May 2008 Gibson Nyandoro, a war vet who had fallen out with his colleagues, began openly campaigning for the MDC-T. Furious at this defection the local ZANU PF leadership summoned him to a kangaroo court chaired by Mutsvangwa. They warned Nyandoro about his links with the MDC-T but he refused to be intimidated and continued campaigning for the party.


“Two weeks later Gibson Nyandoro was reported missing by his relatives and his body was discovered floating in a local dam a few days later,” the dossier says.


And then, on the 12th June 2008, Mutsvangwa addressed ZANU PF militia teams at the local community hall. During the evening a group of youths including Oliver Tembo, Ian Kazungu, Wilson Asau and Adas Kudiwapfava, all accompanied by local CIO agents abducted Moses Mutandwa and took him to the hall where he was heavily assaulted with sticks under the feet and all over the body.


Mutandwa was detained at the hall for two days after which he was released together with other detainees, but only when Mutsvangwa had visited the base and assigned the militia other missions.


On the same day Oliver Tembo, a member of Mutsvangwa’s campaign team led a group of ZANU PF youths who abducted Chris Kakanga and took him to the local ZANU PF offices in Katanga. Kakanga was savagely assaulted with steel bars and logs until he sustained a fractured arm and leg. The youths who assaulted him told him the MDC-T in Norton were ‘nauseating’ Mutsvangwa.


Witnesses who gave their testimonies said that Mutsvangwa was regularly seen delivering food supplies to the base where most MDC-T activists were being detained and tortured. On the 13th of June 2008 Mutsvangwa held a meeting in Norton at which his campaign team agreed to set up torture bases at the homes of several ZANU PF officials.


Mutsvangwa supplied the tents that were pitched up at the homes of Knowledge Ndiya and another official named as Matambo. It was not long before the new bases were in use. On the same day John Kwangware reported that CIO operatives broke into his house and blindfolded him. He said they took him to Matambo’s house where they severely assaulted him.


Kwangware said his left eye is permanently damaged as they allegedly tried to remove it.


Many other activists like David Mupandasekwa, an MDC polling agent in the March 29 elections was targeted by Mutsvangwa’s mob. He was abducted from his house and the mob “hauled him blindfolded” to a place where CIO agents heavily assaulted him and left him for dead.


In another example Theresa Kamasula was abducted and taken to Knowledge Ndiya‘s house, where a tent had been pitched by Mutsvangwa’s team. On arrival she was taken into the tent and subjected to ‘terrible assault and torture’. The youths threatened to kill her if they wanted. She was told they had orders from Mutsvangwa to ‘kill’ and it was up to them ‘either to kill or spare her life’.


The youths later ordered her to report to Ndiya’s house everyday to carry out household chores until after the 27 June presidential run-off election.


By Lance Guma – 09 February 2012



Framed lawyer freed on bail

18 April 2010


Harare – Rangarirai Zvauya, the government lawyer allegedly framed by CIO operative and (Zanu PF) politician Christopher Mutsvangwa has finally been freed on bail after languishing at Chikurubi Prison farm for two months.


Harare Regional Magistrate William Bhila accepted defence lawyer Lucky Mauwa of Mutezo and Partners’ submission that Zvauya was a strong candidate for acquittal by the High Court.


Zvauya was jailed for two years by another Harare magistrate after the court convicted him on charges that he demanded a $400 bribe from Mutsvangwa, which amounted to criminal abuse of office.


Bhila freed Zvauya on $100 bail with no reporting conditions.


Zvauya argued that the State’s case was weak and was likely to fall apart in the High Court after Mutsvangwa’s wife Monica had failed to produce text messages which she earlier claimed the lawyer had sent to her demanding a bribe.


The trap document used by the CID was also found to be defective as it was dated October 2006 while Zvauya was arrested in November 2009.


It has also been established that Zvauya’s brother, Chengetai, a correspondent for the Associated Press news agency had not written any story about Mutsvangwa’s alleged involvement in a murder case.


Mutsvangwa had claimed that Chengetai Zvauya had written the story and Rangarirai Zvauya approached him asking for a bribe to stop its publication.


The defence also argued that Mutsvangwa’s statements were inconsistent and that Monica, who was listed as a complainant had failed to give any evidence of the lawyer’s wrongdoing during the trial which concluded in January.


Zvauya claims that there was an element of entrapment. Mutsvangwa told the court under cross-examination from another defence lawyer, Chris Mhike, that he had used his CIO skills to trap Zvauya in order to prevent him from interviewing his wife. After Monica invited Zvauya, who was a law officer in the Attorney-General’s office, to her home to interview her, Mutsvangwa brought the CID to arrest him.


Apart from Mutsvangwa, no-one else claimed to have heard Zvauya asking for a bribe, the court heard.


Bhila concluded that on the basis of those arguments, Zvauya would be a successful candidate for acquittal when the case was heard in the High Court at a date yet to set.


Zvauya argues that he was framed to prevent details of a murder case allegedly involving Mutsvangwa from becoming public. Mutsvangwa was reportedly involved in an illegal diamond deal. He failed to pay Costa Mateta and several other people who had given him diamonds. Mateta and his associates then went to Mutsvangwa’s Highlands home and seized cash and goods in the presence of Monica.


Mutsvangwa is reported to have ordered the CID to arrest Mateta and his partners. The Homicide Squad detectives are said to have taken Mateta and two others to Granville Cemetery on the outskirts of Harare, where they brutally tortured them and shot them to death.


Mateta’s wife Saliwe Nduna sued the CID for the murder of her husband.


Zvauya’s job was to represent the State’s interest in the case.


However, during his investigations, he stumbled upon evidence incriminating Mutsvangwa in the illegal diamond deals and the subsequent killings. Zvauya was due to gather information from Monica about the case when he was arrested.


Meanwhile Nduna is still pursuing her case. She is represented by Zviko Chadambuka of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). ZLHR has accused Zanu (PF) functionaries in the government of harassing State lawyers who sought to do their jobs professionally.


Several State lawyers involved in high-profile cases to do with human rights violations have been arrested or harassed.


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