Investigative journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu was on Tuesday engaged in a war of with MDC Alliance (MDC-A) secretary-general Chalton Hwende after the party exonerated Bulawayo women’s assembly chairperson Tendai Masotsha of involvement in the abduction of Tawanda Muchehiwa, a journalism student at Midlands State University.
Muchehiwa, a nephew to Mathuthu, was abducted by suspected State agents on 30 July and tortured for three days before he was dumped close to him home, battered and bruised.
Posting on Twitter, Mathuthu challenged the MDC-A leadership to come clean over the abduction of Muchehiwa. He wrote:
Been through a hellish few months. MDC-Alliance SG Charlton Hwende has not helped the situation.
He told the MDC standing committee last week, while defending Tendai Masotsha, that I’m pursuing a ‘G40 agenda’ against his party.
I pray the MDC has more sophisticated ways of addressing issues of this nature. It cannot be sufficient to dismiss victims as G40 while pursuing a shoddy investigation.
I got frustrated writing this. My nephew is tortured near death, and Mr Hwende thinks I’m out to get his party.
Was Masotsha working for the MDC-Alliance chief? I don’t recall your party claiming parentage of July 31. Why don’t you let her carry her own cross?
Hwende however, denied protecting Masotsha saying his job was not to protect individuals but the party.
He also accused Mathuthu of working with the G40 faction to weaken the opposition party. Said Hwende:
My job is not to defend individuals, but party positions. The report on the investigation of Masotsha was presented, debated and adopted by the party leadership.
Muchehiwa was seized from his cousin’s vehicle, Advent Mathuthu in broad daylight by men who claimed to be police officers.
He was in the company of Masotsha who said she had brought flyers for anti-corruption demonstrations that were planned for 31 July.
After his release from captivity, Mucheiwa accused Masotsha of being involved in the whole in his abduction.
The MDC-A proceeded to appoint an investigation committee and suspended Masotsha who has since been found innocent of any wrongdoing.
Political pundits believe the MDC-A is heavily infiltrated by State and ruling party agents who identify activists who they then hand over to the so-called Ferret Force for torture.