The director of Research and Information at the Botswana Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clifford Maribe told the Monitor on Saturday that the Zimbabweans came empty-handed at the meeting. Zimbabwe failed to provide evidence when it first made the allegations at a SADC meeting in Maputo last month. It was the same story when it repeated the allegations at another meeting in South Africa.
"They had three opportunities to provide SADC with evidence, especially when they first raised the allegations in Maputo, and then in South Africa. Now they were expected to help with some vital documents to support their stand, but they did not bring anything at the meeting last week," Maribe said.
It would appear the allegations are used by Mugabe to punish members of the opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC). This month, a Zimbabwean High Court judge, Charles Hungwe, issued four orders requiring Mugabe's government to immediately release 12 MDC activists held incommunicado since October 30 on charges of receiving training in sabotage, terrorism and banditry in Botswana.
The Zimbabwean Times report the state agents raided the homes of the MDC leadership and arrested members, including a two-year-old girl. During the arrests, police are said to have seized property including a computer and official party documents at the home of MDC's national official Concilia Chinanzvavana.
Together with her husband Emmanuel, a councillor in Banket, Chinanzvavana is alleged to be among the 12 MDC activists who received military training in Botswana. Others are MDC councillor, Fidelis Chiramba, the losing candidate in senatorial election for Zvimba, Fani Tembo; ward coordinator Lloyd Tambwa, Fidelis Musona, Ernest Mudimu, Jerry Musona, Fanuel Tembo and Theater Kaseke.
All of them have never been seen since their arrest and it is feared they have been executed by Mugabe.The Zimbabwean Times quoted a source saying the 12 were transferred from Banket to Harare and were initially held at Mabelreign Police Station before they were moved to Avondale Police Station. They were then released into the custody of the Officer Commanding the Homicide Section of the CID, Chrispen Makedenge who has moved them to an unknown location.
They are being charged with treason for allegedly undergoing training in banditry, which carries life imprisonment if convicted.The Zimbabwean Times reported early this month that the defence feared that the 12 could have been harmed or even murdered.