Mugabe threatens to arrest Tsvangirai
Cape Town - Police should thoroughly investigate and arrest Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for fraudulent activities involving the construction of his official residence, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Monday during an interview on state radio on the eve of his birthday.
According to The Zimbabwe Mail, the past fortnight has seen a flurry of reports alleging the unearthing of evidence suggesting Tsvangirai was involved in "double-dipping".
State media last week claimed Tsvangirai had used "$1,5m to buy items for people far removed from the intended prime minister's residence as well as undue enrichment programmes on the money market".
But the Movement for Democratic Change has denied the charges, saying that a Zanu-PF faction was behind a negative publicity blitz aimed at nailing Tsvangirai.
Mugabe, however, said police should not rush their investigations.
"What we don’t want is people getting arrested on the basis of evidence which is not clear and on the basis of inadequate evidence," he said.
MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the "so-called double-dipping scandal is nothing but part of a sting operation to collapse the GNU [Government of National Unity] and rush for elections without agreeing on key reforms".
"There is a faction within Zanu-PF that is pushing for the collapse of the GNU through criminalisation of key MDC leaders and disturbing the constitution-making process.
"This is part of a well-choreographed sting operation and obviously the Prime Minister is the key target."
Mwonzora said Tsvangirai has been staying at his Strathaven home after Mugabe reportedly denied him the chance to move into Zimbabwe House upon joining the inclusive government in 2009.
Tsvangirai has been dragged to the courts before, but the charges have never stuck including those of plotting to kill Mugabe.