Zim shutdown: Arrested juveniles released to parents care

HARARE - Juveniles involved in the peaceful protests on Wednesday have been released into their parents’ custody after being arrested in Bulawayo.

Citizens on July 6, heeded a call to stay away from work and school in protest against the economic meltdown and social injustices in the country.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the three children were part of 86 residents that are facing charges of public violence who had been detained at Mzilikazi Police Station.

According to the ZLHR, hundreds of residents across the country were arrested.

In Victoria Falls, 16 residents were arrested for criminal nuisance and contravening the Public Order and Security Act and released each on $100 bail. Another nine taxi drivers from the resort town were also arrested and shall return to court on July 12, on summons.

“In Harare, ZLHR lawyers engaged police officers at Harare Central Police Station’s Law and Order Section to release some detainees including Zvikomborero Mukarakate and Gabriel Vhuzhuri to seek medical attention after they sustained injuries resulting from assault by some law enforcement agents,” they said.

ZLHR also said six Zvishavane men were arrested and taken to Gweru Police Station and charged with conspiracy to cause malicious damage to property and conspiracy to cause public violence.

The human rights organisation said in Chipinge two men were also charged with intimidating people to engage in an anti-government demonstration.

Protest details of the Wednesday stay away were circulated via popular social media platform WhatsApp prompting government to temporarily jam the sites signals on Wednesday morning.

Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) went on to issue a statement threatening arrest and phone disconnection of anyone found in possession of or circulating anti-government messages.

“We are therefore warning members of the public that from the date of this notice, any person caught in possession of, generating, sharing or passing on abusive, threatening, subversive or offensive telecommunications messages, including WhatsApp or any other social media messages that may be deemed to cause despondency, incite violence, threaten citizens and cause unrest, will be arrested and dealt with accordingly in the national interest,” read the Potraz notice.

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