Arms cache unearthed in Zim

The arms were an AK47 rifle with a folding butt, four FN rifles, seven Uzi guns, four .303 rifles with telescopic sights, 11 shotguns, six CZ pistols, two long-range pistols, four revolvers, and a set of Siemens radio communication systems, including base station hand-held radios. The police also recovered thousands of rounds of ammunition of different calibre, 15 tearsmoke canisters, and 20 flares. Hitschmann, a disgruntled former assistant inspector with the ZRP’s special constabulary in charge of border patrols, was arrested on Thursday at a fast food outlet in Mutare in the company of Thando Sibanda, an MDC activist who is also a former member of the police special constabulary, and Knowledge Nyamhoka, the MDC provincial youth chairman for Manicaland. He is believed to have recruited ex-members of the Rhodesian army as well as police force ‘ some of whom are senior members of the MDC and former legislators ‘ to work towards the opposition party’s agenda for illegal regime change in Zimbabwe. Some of the people recruited were ex-Rhodesian servicemen who were still serving in the army and the police. Sources said Hitschmann told police during interrogation that in 2002, the MDC had realised that it would not effect regime change in Zimbabwe “through democratic means and military intervention was the solution”. Police are keen to interview some of the senior MDC members, including a former and a current legislator, who have been allegedly linked to Hitschmann. Sources said Hitschmann is linked to the so-called Zimbabwe Freedom Movement, a shadowy group of ex-Rhodesians whose members appeared with balaclavas announcing their intention to oust the Government through military means at a Press conference in London in 2002. The sources said this movement, of which British gay activist Peter Tatchell is a member, contacted Hitschmann together with the senior MDC members, and agreed to set up offices in Manicaland, and open a bank account in Mozambique to finance operations to unconstitutionally unseat the government. A former MDC legislator in the province is said to have sourced from donors the initial foreign currency deposited in the account. The Minister of State Security, Didymus Mutasa, confirmed the arrest of Hitschmann and said investigations were underway. ‘ The Herald/Own staff.

March 2006
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