Police ban HIV/Aids workshop

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo police in Matabeleland North’s Lupane District yesterday banned an HIV/Aids training workshop conducted by civic and human rights organisation National Youth Development Trust (NYDT).

According to the organisation, police commander for Lupane District Johannes Govo banned the four-day workshop at Lupane Business Centre saying it had clashed with other meetings in the area.

“Police have banned our organisation from conducting training in Lupane citing a lame excuse that the training programme clashed with another meeting.

“The organisation had planned to conduct two different training workshops over four days aimed at improving young people’s understanding of gender, reproductive health and HIV/Aids while ensuring that they make use of the acquired knowledge in decision-making,” said the organisation in a statement.

NYDT also blasted police for the continuous arrest and harassment of their members in Lupane District since the beginning of this year.

“Observations have been made that space for civic activity has been shrinking in Lupane as most civic society organisations operating in the district continue to face harassment from security agents,” said the organisation.

The youth organisation, with help from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), had secured a High Court order to proceed with the meeting.

In March, Lupane police stormed another NYDT workshop and arrested senior programmes’ officer Bhekimusa Moyo who is also the author of Gukurahundi play: 1983 The Years before and after.

Matabeleland North police spokesperson Sergeant Eglon Nkala said: “I have not been briefed about that issue.”

According to ZLHR, Matabeleland North is now the most hostile province in the country as police have so far arrested or harassed more than 40 politicians and human rights activists since January 2011.

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