THE MDC led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube says it “strongly condemns” a reported attack on a journalist from the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper by supporters of MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Moyo was attacked by MDC-T youths at the party’s Harvest House headquarters in Harare last Friday while covering a demonstration by activists protesting over the conduct of primary elections.
“That this is carried out by the MDC-T at their citadel and headquarters is blood chilling and shocking. It is a clear intimidation tactic from the MDC-T to try and muzzle the media from covering their intra-party shenanigans,” MDC spokesman Nhlanhla Dube said on Monday.
He added: “Evidently, the MDC-T took its cue from their cousins Zanu PF and they learned it well in typical monkey-see monkey-do fashion.”
Moyo said he was taking photographs of the demonstrators with his mobile phone when “some guys from MDC-T came and ordered me to delete the pictures”.
He explained: “I told them I could not because I was performing my duties as a journalist.
“I told them I was a journalist but they dragged me like a criminal into one of the offices and started assaulting me mainly on my head. While they were beating me, my colleague phoned Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T spokesperson) who was said to be in South Africa.
“When my attackers heard that Mwonzora was on the phone, they then stopped assaulting me. Mwonzora apologised over the phone. What is ridiculous is that those people tried to disown people who beat me up in their office saying they were vendors. But I asked them if they allowed vendors to just drag people into their offices and beat them up and they could not answer.”
Dube said his party “pins this senseless attack” on the Moyo “directly on the MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai who just a few weeks ago was quoted as saying he would ‘deal’ with media that covered him unfavourably once he comes into power.”
He added: “This act has shown that this party, from the upper echelons right to the lowest rank is infested with intolerant violent thugs whose only interest is state power at all costs but have no respect for press freedom and democratic ideals. To them the press is only doing its job if it is singing their praises.”
The incident is a major embarrassment for the MDC-T as it came just a day after the Bulawayo Chronicle reporter Mashudu Netsianda was assaulted by Tsvangirai supporters who confiscated his notebook and deleted recordings from his mobile phone as he covered the Prime Minister’s meeting with the Bulawayo business community.
Over the weekend, more violence was witnessed in Mutare where the MDC-T MP and defence secretary Giles Mutsekwa is accused by lawyer Arnold Tsunga of instigating a “barbaric assault” on a councillor during an internal party vote. Tsunga is challenging Mutsekwa for the Dangamvura-Chikanga seat.