Opposition leader arrested, detained

BULAWAYO - Police on Friday night arrested the leader of a new opposition party, the Zimbabwe Economic Freedom Fighters (ZEFF) soon after addressing journalists at the Bulawayo Media Centre.

He was charged with violating immigration laws.

The United Kingdom-based Innocent Ndibali who is in the country to drum up support for his party was taken away by plain-clothes officers from the Law an Order section while he was still at the media centre in full view of the journalists.

He was taken to the Bulawayo Central Police Station where he was detained for a night until his release yesterday morning.

He is set to appear in court tomorrow.

“They took me to Bulawayo Central Police Station for intensive interrogations which lasted over three hours,” Ndibali told journalists soon after his release.

“They (police) were professional in their conduct and they were quiet forthcoming on my rights and explained things they believe went wrong in so far as contravening immigration sections since I used a British passport coming to Zimbabwe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo Media Centre chairperson Pamenus Tuso condemned the police for arresting their suspects at the media centre.

“While we acknowledge that it is within their right to conduct their duties wherever and whenever and arrest people for whatever reason anywhere and anyhow, we feel they must have arrested him outside the environs of the media centre,” Tuso said.

He said that was tantamount to intimidating journalists.

“We invite guests here from all over the world to interact with us and the police should not wait for our guest to pitch up here then they arrest them more so in our environs. 

“It will not be surprising if other political actors refuse to come to the media centre fearing arrest,” said Tuso.

ZEFF is one of the many opposition parties that seek to challenge President Robert Mugabe’s rule come 2018.

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