20 MDC officials arrested

HARARE - Police in Harare yesterday arrested 20 opposition MDC officials including the party’s Harare provincial chairperson Eric Murayi while he was informing his party supporters that authorities had blocked them from holding a rally in Harare South constituency.

Lawyers representing Murayi and 19 others told the Daily News that the MDC officials were being held at Waterfalls Police Station in the capital but were due to be transferred to Harare Central Police Station’s law and order section.

“Honourable Murayi had gone to Harare South to relay to his party supporters the message that their rally would not be going ahead after it was banned at the last minute by police but upon arrival he was rounded up,” Vitalis Mudzonga of Mauwa and Associates said.

Mudzonga said police had not pressed any charges against the group saying they could not proceed in the absence of the investigating officer.

“I am currently at Waterfalls Police Station but I have not had access to my clients as police are saying the officer who arrested them is away but they have indicated their intention to transfer them to Harare Central Police Station,” Mudzonga said. 

Police blocked the MDC rally arguing that violent clashes similar to what happened between MDC and Zanu PF that left 13 people injured recently in the same constituency could recur. 

But the MDC has described the police ban as a deliberate attempt by Zanu PF to stop them from making inroads in so-called ruling party strongholds.

In a statement following the ban, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said his party would seek redress over the police action in court.

“We perceive this action as a deliberate and well-calculated plot by the Zanu PF regime to frustrate our party activities and also ensure that no MDC rallies are held in constituencies by Zanu PF legislators,” Gutu said.

In denying the MDC permission police cited violence that erupted in the same constituency recently between opposition and ruling party supporters that left several people injured.

“Due to the violence that took place on the 1st of November 2015 at the same venue your office is therefore requested to defer the event to another date. This also paves way for investigations of the violence that took place,” reads the police correspondence to the MDC.

“In the future notifications this office is contemplating change of venue as the required venue is not conducive.

“It is closely surrounded by houses which therefore cause threat to the community in the event of any volatile situation. The police will monitor to ensure that this rally is not going to take place”.

Following the said violence last week, the country’s opposition parties  including Zanu Ndonga, African Democratic Party (ADP), Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ), FreeZim Congress, MDC and National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), resolved to engage police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri over the violence that saw 13 MDC supporters being injured in attacks by alleged Zanu PF supporters.

The MDC officials’ arrest comes at a time the opposition has expressed disappointment that even though the violence occurred two weeks ago, not a single Zanu PF supporter has been arrested in connection with the clashes giving credence to misgivings by the opposition parties that police are reluctant to read the riot act on the ruling party supporters.

Comments (4)

The Lord has a reason for everything he does, and he lets evil people live only to be punished. The Lord doesn't like anyone who is conceited you can be sure they will be punished....(Proverbs 16:4-5 CEV).

Dee - 9 November 2015

REMEMBER THIS - Prostitute allegedly shoots dead top Zimbabwean cop (Christopher Ngapala) From Afriquenligne, 5 August 2007 Lusaka An assistant superintendent of the Zimbabwe Police, Christopher Ngapala, has been shot dead in Lusaka by a prostitute, the Sunday Post claimed here. Ngapala was aide-de-camp of the inspector general of police in Zimbabwe, Augustine Chihuri, who had travelled to Lusaka for the regional Southern Africa Region Police Chief's Co-operation Organisation (SARPCO) that met here last week.

Magna Mudyiwa - 10 November 2015

Why seek permission to do meetings from a zanu policeforce . Just go on never mind these fools they are not national police but zanu police men their time is coming where they will be removed from ZRP .

Diibulaanyika - 13 November 2015

Lets unite and build one AFRICA for Africans-Botswana

Bushi - 13 November 2015

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